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Full text of "Father Taylor, the sailor preacher; incidents and anecdotes of Rev. Edward T. Taylor, for over forty years pastor of the Seaman's Bethel, Boston"

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■r'ATElEB- '.rA^ri.o.K. 



FATHER TAYLOR, 

THE SAILOR PREACHER. 



INCIDENTS AND ANECDOTES 



REV. EDWARD T. TAYLOR, 



FOR OVER FORTV YEARS 



PASTOE OF TIE SEAMAN'S BETHEL, BOSTON. 



BY 

REV. GILBERT ^AVEN, 

EDITOR OF "ZION'a HEHALD," 
AND 

HON. THOMAS RUSSELL, 

COLLECTOR OF THE PORT OF BOSTON. 



NEW YORK; HUNT &= EATON. 
CINCINNATI: CRANSTON &= STOWE. 



Entered, according to Act of Congress, in trie year 1871, 

By B. B. RUSSELL. 

In the Office of the Librarian of Congress, at Washington 



TO 



The Lovers of Father Taylor, 



OK SEA aND land, 



SCfjis ffiatljcrittg from tfje ^Crtasurts of ijia ranrlis ano fflffiarfts 



FRATERNALLY INSCRIBED. 



A l^OTE EXPLAJ^ATOET. 



F;»THER Taylor died April tlie 6th, 1871. This note, the first 
in tile book, but the last written, is being penned Dec. 16, 1871, 
eight months and nine days from that event. To collect, arrange, 
unite, and pass through the press, in so short a time, a collection 
of his sayings and doings, without help from a scrap of his own 
writing, or of any matter written to him, would be a work of nc 
email labor, if no other duties had pressed their attention. But 
to inject this work into a crowded profession has necessitated 
unusual industry. Its many imperfections, therefore, will, I trust, 
be pardoned, under these circumstances. 

To increase this burden, my friend Judge Kussell, who had 
kindly offered to help me in the undertaking, was taken violently 
ill a few weeks after the death of Father Taylor, and left for 
Europe the middle of May, and again for Fayal the middle of 
October, so that his contributions were not as large as had been 
anticipated and desired. They were, however, of much value, and 
have been embodied in the text of several chapters. To Mrs. 
Dora Brigham, the eldest daughter of Father Taylor, especial 
thanks are due for her constant and liberal aid both in contribu- 
tions and in suggestions. Considerable portions of the chapters 
ou her mother are from her pen. 

I also acknowledge with great pleasure the generous co^opcrn- 
tion of many other of his friends and admirers. Presbyterian, 
Methodist, Unitarian, Baptist, Universalist, and Congregational- 

6 



A NOTE EXPLANATORY. 

ist, — from each of these bodies have come contributions to this 
volume. Most of the donors have been mentioned by name in the 
course of the volume. All of them, named and unnamed, are 
gratefully remembered for their valuable help. 

How extensive that help was, may be gathered from a single 
fact, that one chapter alone had sixteen different handwritings iu 
its copy. The contributors were allowed to tell their stories in 
their own way ; this course adding variety and piquancy to the 
narrative. 

May this broken collection of remarkable words preserve an 
imperfect but not valueless picture of one of the most noticeable 
men of any age, whose praise the loftiest felt themselves honored 
in proclaiming 1 

G. a 

Malden, Dec. 15, 1871. 



CONTENTS. 



OHAPTEK I. PAG« 

The BEaiHKiNa i<.. 9 

CHAPTER n. 
To THE Great Change ••■..20 

CHAPTER m. 
To THE Pnif IT •••.34 

CHAPTER IV. 

To THE ClKCDIT •..(!< 

CHAPTER V. 
His Wife 68 

CHAPTER VI, 
To Boston .82 

CHAPTER VII. 
The Bethel Entebpeise ..•..102 

CHAPTER vm. 
.Ik the Bethel •.128 

CHAPTER IX. 
In the Bethel Pbater-Meeting ........ 1S3 

CHAPTER X. 
Some Oethel SEitMQNa 168 

7 



8 CONTENTS. 

chaptbe xi. tage 

Some Bethel Me« ^^ 



CHAPTEE XH. 



Ik Conference . 



200 



CHAPTER Xin. 
In Camp-Meeting . . • • • 222 

OHAPIBR XtV. 
In the Preachers' Meeting 231 

CHAPTEE XV. 
In Keforms 246 

chapter xvi. 
On Special Occasions 271 

CHAPTER XVn. 
Out of the Bethel 299 

CHAPTER XVni. 
At Home , . , 32S 

CHAPTER XIX. 
What the 'Writers thiote 343 

CHAPTER XX. 
Mother Taixor 868 

CHAPTER XXI. 
o the Harbor ....SQl 

CHAPTER XXn. 
The Bdbial 408 

CHAPTER X X [ 1 1 , 
The Epitaph 4ig 



I. 

THE BEGINOTNG. 

THE rise of one from before the mast to a posi- 
tion of honor is an event not unknown in the 
aaval world. Sailors, not a few, have gone from 
the lowest to the highest stations by virtue of 
their genius and their opportunity: but these ex- 
amples are confined to one line of promotion ; they 
have simply grown on their own soil, been devel- 
oped out of their own conditions. Far rarer have 
been the examples of those who have abandoned 
the sea, and yet wrought their fame from it ; who 
have done that deed declared impossible, — seen 
the sea from the shore, and the shore from the 
sea, at the same time. The sailor-songs of Dibdin, 
though written by one who was always an actor, 
never a sailor, yet brought sea and land together in 
ringing rhymes, that delighted sailors, and strength- 
ened, like ocean breezes, the enervated landsmen. 
For the first time, the ennuyis of the club and the 
drawing-room tasted a saltness in the air of litera- 
ture ; for the first time, they learned to feel as a 
sailor the nearness of Providence and the childlike- 



10 FATHER TAYLOR. 

ness of trust. As they heard that word of confi- 
dence, 

" There's a sweet little cherub that sits up aloft, 
To keep watch for the life of poor Jack," 

or that tender tribute to Tom Bowling, — 

" Whose body is under hatches. 
But his soul is gone aloft," 

they were brought to the rolling deep as those born 
unto it, and felt that their home was in this homeless 
haunt of Nature. 

Many have written of the sea ; but, like Lucretius, 
they have gazed on it from the safe protection of 
the shore. Robinson Crusoe is far more a tale of 
land- life than sea -life. In a few stanzas only 
of his multitude, Byron rocks on the rolling deep. 
Marryatt, Smollett, and Cooper describe life on ship- 
board : but all of them wrote as landsmen for lands- 
men ; two of them only having really tasted the 
brine, and they as gentlemen and officers, not as 
common sailors. The stories of voyages such as- 
Cook's, Magellan's, Parry's, adventures in the Arc- 
tic and Pacific by buccaneers and- discoverers, have 
always held a large place in the literature of youth , 
but these have never developed in pirate or pioneer a 
reputation on the shore and among men. 

John Newton is one of the few men of the irreli- 
gious and almost piratical sort, who commenced life 
a common sailor, but acquired eminence afterwards 
in another profession. He was one of the worst 



THE BEGINNIKG. il 

and most active of those engaged in the slave- 
trade. Brought to Christ, he escaped at once from 
his sins and the sea. But, though a popular and 
faithful minister of the Lord Jesus, he was not 
directly connected with the sea, either in his labors 
or his style. He preached ashore and to landsmen 
with no breath of his ocean-life blowing through his 
words. He dwelt so far inland in his thoughts and 
relations, that the earlier life never sent its salt 
winds across his speech. He seemed only to remem- 
ber his sins on the great deep, which were them- 
selves a great deep. Even those he sought to hide 
from his memory. All the varied and vigorous life of 
the ocean was forgotten ; .perhaps was never lived. 
So vile had been his trade, he could only remember 
its iniquities : he may not . have known the inspi- 
rations of the storm or calm, of arctic and torrid 
climes. Intent on his criminal work, the features 
of the sea were unnoticed. As the vile panders to 
human sins in dens of vice and lawlessness never 
note the glory of midnight upon which studious 
eyes are reverently turned, never regard the move- 
ments of society about them, but, like Mammon, have 
their eyes fixed on the pavement of their own pas- 
sions: so he, in that early career, only saw the 
victims of his covetousness, as, chained and scourged, 
they were packed away in the choking hold of his 
tossing craft, and debarked, what were left of them, 
on the West Indian shores, and changed to gold in his 
corrupted palm. Surely he would not wish to recall, 
if he could, the calm heavens, frowning wrath, even 



12 FATHER TAYLOR 

trom their cloudless def)ths, on his accursed work and 

lOul. 

It is therefore a novelty for a life of fame to be 
wrought out by a common sailor, from the sea and the 
profession he had left, op the land, and among all 
classes of men. If, then, we were merely seeking 
for a subject that had the piquancy needful to awaken 
a dulled palate,' this career had the requisite elements. 
It stands alone in literature and life. Seamen turned 
preachers have been common; seamen who served 
the sailors as preachers on the shore are frequent: 
but a seaman who shone in the forehead of the 
finest society for almost half a century as its 
brightest wit and orator, of most genial and gen- 
erous soul, and still kept up the closest intimacy 
with the sailors and the sea, preaching to the one 
and of the other, is a rarity among geniuses that 
deserves especial and perpetual memory. 

But not for this remarkable quality do we prepare 
this memorial. The mere contemplation of a novel 
character and career, with no higher end, is as 
valueless for good as the gazing on a gem of strange 
lustre and color. There is a deeper reason for this 
biography. 

The subject of it was a striking exhibition of the 
power of the renewing grace of God. With all his 
peculiarities and exceptional features, the central 
truth stands out like Teneriffe above the ridgy seas 
that toss about it. He was a converted man. He 
had been born again. He was changed by the Holv 
Ghost from a child of wrath to an heir of heaven. 



THE BEGINNING. 13 

He stands forth in an age that disputes this divine 
decilaration of the Scriptures, both as to its need and 
its possibility, a living witness of both truths, — the 
sad and the glad, the depravity and the regeneration. 
He entered into a community that had largely lost 
the testimony of redemption, had forgotten whether 
there be any Holy Ghost, had covered the Cross 
with a cloud of speculation, and discarded the Blood 
of sacrifice and salvation as an unholy thing, and 
outshone its brilliancy with a superior brightness, 
made its wit dull, its eloquence tame, its fervor 
cold, its polish rude, with his untutored culture 
of manners, and shinings of genius; and all this 
without awakening condemnation of his doctrines, 
or hostility to his experience. It is not too much to 
say that Father Taylor was, for a generation, almost 
the only representative of evangelical faith who had 
the entrSe to those of the cultivated classes of his 
adopted city who had abandoned this fundamental 
faith of their fathers and of the Church. It would 
seem as if to these wise men of the East had arisen 
the strange star, and led them, all unwillingly, to the 
cradle of their Lord and Redeemer. They rejoiced 
in the star ; they followed its wanderings ; they came 
by its guidance to the place where their Lord lay. 

Other great divines, in some respects greater, 
arose and shone in the same city at the same period ; 
but none of them was allowed to illuminate these 
souls. Dr. Beecher uttered his burning entreaties 
and weighty arguments to their deaf ear. Dr. Way- 
land poured forth his full heart and brain in a stream 



i4 FATHBK TAYLOH. 

that rarely flooded their social summits. Dr. Grif- 
fin made thousands listen to his' strong cries and 
tears, but was an outcast among the old Puritan 
families that had built and stUl ruled the Puritan 
city. Methodist preachers, such as Fisk, Hedding, 
Stevens, and others, far above their brother in 
letters, and hardly below him in pulpit attractions, 
rarely saw a chief citizen in their pews, never saw 
themselves in his parlors. But to him it was given 
at once to draw all social influence to his humble 
conventicle, and to go from his obscure associates 
into their select society. 

Here, too, he shone in the lustre of a simple 
faith. All his gifts and graces were but the setting 
for the living faith in the Lord Jesus. He knew 
whom he had believed. He delighted fo testify to 
the fulness and joyfulness of that redemption. It 
gleamed and shone in every flash of his loving, 
lightning eye, in every beaming word of wit and 
wisdom ; it was soul of his soul ; in it he lived, and 
moved, and had his being. Wherever he went, with 
whomsoever he associated, this new life burst forth 
like spring flowers, in gladness and beauty, spon- 
taneous and abundant. 

He was not of a cynical nature. He did not 
carry a snarling temper. He was fall of mirth. 
The hallelujah psalm was his daily' creed. He 
overflowed in joyfulness of soul. It was a new 
revelation to many whom he met, this joy in the 
Holy Ghost. They had never seen it after this 
fashion. In their idea, orthodoxy was sour, dis- 



THE BEGINNIKG. 15 

putatious, devoted to the dark points in the system 
of God, dwelling in the caves of the Holy Land 
of the gospel. He was on the' green plains and 
sunny hills ; delighting in the figs and grapes 
and pomegranates ; resting under palms ; full of 
exhilaration and exultation ; not boisterous and ob- 
trusive, not exceptional and occasional, but interfused, 
as an atmosphere, tliat "rolls through all things." 
A smile that was irradiant with grace, a jest that was 
seasoned with salt, a joy that was unspeakable, and 
full of glory, — such was the novel and suddeu 
change from the Puritan darkness of" decrees and limi- 
tations into the full-orbed shining of the gospel sun. 

He was no simperer. With all his overflowing 
charity, there was a great firmness in the faith. 
With his large and liberal circle of friends, — the 
broadest enjoyed by any man in Boston for a third 
of a century, — there was no yielding of any essential 
point in his own d-^ctrinal views. Rarely did there 
seem an exception , and then it was only seem- 
ing. 

When conversin;; with a distinguished divine oi> 
Christian perfection, he was asked by him if there 
had been any as perfect as Christ. 

He answered, " Millions." This looked as if he had 
answered in a way that annihilated his own view of 
• the Saviour. But, as the conversation was on Christian 
perfection, the answer simply referred to the love of 
Clirist, which he might fairly say had been fully repro- 
duced, -after their measure, in millions of his devoted 
disciples, who could say as the repentant, and more 



16 FATHER TATLOB.' 

than before affectionate Peter, " Lord, thou knowest 
all things : thou knowest that I love thee." 

He defended the truth of regenerating grace 
through Christ faithfully, everywhere. Never a 
word that questioned the great salvation fell from 
his lips. Never a questioner was allowed to go 
unrebuked. He carried this heart .of his heart on 
his sleeve, not for daws to peck at, but for all those 
who saw him to see. It was his perpetual breastplate, 
his Urim and Thummim, his lights and truths. It 
broke forth at every table, in every circle, on every 
platform, where the Word was questioned, or where 
his experience was admissible. lie was loyal to his 
Master in all hours and homes. 

But a yet greater cause for this record is his labors 
among his own people. Ornaments are trifling and 
perishable. To outshine wit with brighter wit, to cut 
with the flashing sword of a novel, brilliant though 
the knot of subtle disputations, to set the golder 
candlestick of the sanctuary with its beaten oil and 
pure flame on unaccustomed altars, to charm all 
classes by sacred gladness to Him who made tht 
feast His favorite place for genial rebuke and aptes( 
utterance, — this is all well, and worthy ; but to g( 
from the quarterdeck to the forecastle, to neve; 
forget nor despise the hole of the pit whence h{ 
was digged, to seek strenuously for fifty years to lif 
these brothers of the deep out of the lower depth, 
of their sins and sufferings, to meet them always u 
his best beloved brethren, to compel all lordly 
landsmen in his presence to give them proccdeuc^' to 



THE BEGINNING. 17 

labor for their salvation, aud to rejoice over it, tliis 

gave him, not pre-eminence alone with men, but with 
God. This showed the breadth and solidity of his 
nature. It was not wild and whimsical. However 
high it shot up in needles, it was ever based on the 
deep and wide foundations of faith and liuraanity. It 
kept him steadfast and strong for half a centuiy. 
Like the sun, he blazed; but, like the -sun, he was 
more a firm-set, solid globe than a shooting atmos- 
phere of light. 

The last reason for preparing these memorials 
is not his society, nor his service : it is his ori- 
ginality. Multitudes have been equally honored 
and faithful, who die, and make no sign. Genius 
alone seems to have the prerogative of the present 
and the future : it rules the generation in which 
it lives, and all the generations that follow. The 
rays it sends forth never cease their shining. In- 
cidents in such lives, remarks they uttered, are 
devoured greedily ages after they are dust. This 
man without letters, without birth, without original 
position, carried his adopted city on the end of his 
hince for a generation, simply from the freslmess of 
his genius. 

To gather up a few — alas, how few ! — of tliese 
lays, is tlie object of tliis memorial. If we only had 
the bright thoughts that Socrates dropped so often in 
his strolls about Athens, the pickings of Plato would 
be for"-otten. So if we could only give the bon-moU 
that flashed from Taylor's lips at the, preachers' 
meetings, at camp-meetings, in his pulpit, and prayei 



18 FATHER TAYLOn. 

meetings, around social tables, in the street, in a 
chance meeting, these gathered pebbles would ap- 
pear as worthless dust. No man ever lived who 
more constantly talked in tropes ; whose figures were 
as original as an Oriental's, and as brisk as a French- 
man's ; who was equal master of repartee and simile ; 
who was affluent as South Afric fields in uncounted, 
ungathered diamonds. Not a sermon that had not 
sentences in it, which 

" Had suffered a sea change 
Into something rich and strange." 

Not a colloquy, hardly a greeting, that did not turn 
up a gem. Such profusion, like that of most un- 
lettered men, made the sayings not always hammered 
to a perfect liardness, or polished to their possible 
shapeliness and lustre, They lacked unifoim excel- 
lence of finish. Yet they were often richer than 
all possible finish of the lapidary's. Many sprang 
forth of purest ray serene, cut and complete from 
their birth. 

The few we have been able to obtain will give a 
faint conception, to those who knew him not, of the 
originality aud choice) less of his endowments: they 
may help the many- that knew him, to retain 
in their loving memories the full-length portrait of 
their friend and father ; and they may help to 
perpetuate beyond the brief moment of his earthly 
stay the knowledge and the characteristics of one 
of the most celebrated of the preachers of America, 



THE BEGINNING. 19 

who, wherever he went, and upon whomsoever he 
shone, shed forth the sacred light of consecrated 
genius, the illuminations upon his own soul of the 
countenance of his Savior- and his God. 



n. 



TO THE GREAT CHANGE. 



The New Birth often the Real Birth. — The Ruling Passion Strong In Youth 
— His Escape. — Boston Sixty Years Since. — Hears Dr. Griffin. — Brifis 
into Bromfieid Street. — Elijah Hedding the Preacher. — Thomas W. Tucker 
leads him to the Altar. — His Conversion and Q-reat Joy . — His Testimony to 
Bishop Hedding at his Funeral. 



THE beginning of Father Taylor's life was when 
he was converted. If ever a second birth was a 
first birth, it was in this instance. It is oftener thus 
than many suppose. A few men of genius struggle 
into light without the regenerating power of the Holy 
Ghost. But most remain " mute and inglorious " un- 
less touched with this life divine. The Church has 
been the field that above all others has yielded abun- 
dant fruit to the thought of the world. Christ has 
been the chief husbandman of genius. "Where would 
B iinyan have been but for the Holy Spirit ? That wit 
so keen, that fancy so delicate, that imagination so 
rare, would have been lost in the orgies of bear-baiting, 
beer-drinking, and profanity. Augustine's genius was 
drowned in dreams and dissipation, until it was lifted 
out of its horrible pit by the grace of Christ. 

South, Jeremy Taylor, AVard Beecher, Gough, Row- 
land Hill, Spurgeon, Hugh Miller, Robert Hall — 

20 



TO THE GREAT CHANGE. 21 

these lights of the church and the world were with- 
out light but for the illuminations of the Holy Ghost. 
Milton had been songless, and Cowper and Herbert, 
Fuller had been witless, and Sir Thomas Browne and 
Bishop Hall and Erasmus, save for renewing grace. 
Luther's flame was kindled at the altar. The ge- 
nius that wrought the cathedrals, staoues, and pictures 
of mediaeval times was wrought upon by the spirit of 
faith, and but for that re-creation would have been 
dead while it lived. 

This law was strikingly illustrated in Father Tay- 
lor. He was undoubtedly a wit on ship-board. He 
could not have roamed the seas for ten years and 
over, associated with sailors and landsmen in many 
ports, without revealing some signs of the talent 
which afterwards drew so many to his feet. But 
all that period is a blank. No hint of such a life stirs 
the chaos of those youthful years. His first re- 
membered deeds and words associated with his life 
as a sailor are after his conversion and in connection 
with it. Nothing especially dissolute is recorded of 
those earlier days. He is described as a handsome 
fellow, as trim and taut as any of his tribe ; much 
beloved by his shipmates, and deserving their love. 
But they give no memories of his talent. It was 
much to say of him, that he passed those perilous 
years from boyhood to manhood in the most perilous 
of calKngs without especial stain on his character. 

Still the genius lay folded in its napkin. He was 
only a common sailor, untaught in letters, untrained 
in manners, unelevated in rank, without hope or 



22 FATHER TAYLOR. 

thought of advancement, like multitudes who accept 
the fate they are born to, and — 

" Live and die unheard, 
With a most voiceless thought sheathing it as a sword." 

He was born in Richmond, Va., Dec. 25, 1793. 
lie. had little knowledge of his parents. He remem- 
bered a love for preaching in that early boyhood, and 
especially for a sort that afterwards attracted him, 
and in which he was always successful. He used to 
preach funeral-sermons over dead chickens and kit- 
tens. He would gather the negro boys and girls 
about him, and discourse in most pathetic and forcible 
language on the life and death of the departed. If he 
could not bring them to tears by his oratory, he failed 
not to avail himself of the whip, and lashed them to ap- 
propriate grief over his chickens and his sermon. This 
way of making mourners and sympathetic listeners 
was afterwards maintained and continued in the 
whip his tongue so often applied to those who did 
not suitably respond to his persuasive efforts. 

This love of preaching and of responsive auditories 
was no proof of his spiritual fitness for his subsequent 
life-work. It showed a passion for pulpit-oratory, but 
no call to it. That call slumbered for many years. 

He was brought up on a place near the city, by 
a lady to whom he had been given in charge. One 
day when he was about seven years old, he was pick- 
ing up chips for his foster-mother, when a sea-captain 
passed by, and asked him if he did not wish to be a 
Bailor. He jumped at the offer, never finished pick- 



TO THE GREAT CHANGE. 23 

ing up his chips, nor returned into the house to bid 
his friends " good-by," but gave himself to the 
stranger without fear or thought. 

Thus began a life which continued for ten years, 
through every variety of that stormy experience. 
He seldom spoke of this period of his life, an>.. 
hardly a memory of it remains. It was a blank. 

When a bronzed youth of seventeen, he entered 
the port of Boston. Whether he had previously vis- 
ited this city or not, we canrtot learn. Perhaps he 
had become familiar with its features ; perhaps he 
was stro.Uing through it for the first time, when he 
was captured by his heavenly Master, and rescued 
from the Evil One, who drags so many of his calling 
down to destruction-^ 

Boston was then a lively little sea-port, of only 
about thirty thousand inhabitants. Its business centre 
was Dock Square, the crowded market-place, whose 
little size, irregular, triangular shape, and dingy drop- 
down buildings, made it closely resemble the market- 
places of old European towns. 

Hanover Street, and Cornhill, now Washington 
Street, were its chief thoroughfares. Tremont Street 
was lined with residences hidden in gardens, as those 
of oldest Cambridge are to-day, but are fast ceasing 
to be. Old South was well up town ; Summer Street 
was a haunt of retired gentlemen and retiring lovers, 
who did their soft whisperings and languishing prom- 
enades under its green shadows. The rest of the 
town was a semi-wilderness. The Common was a 
cow-pasture : a few houses fronted it on the north and 



24 FATHER TAYLOR. 

east ; and the negro-quarters were thrust away behind 
these Beacon-hill lords, in dirt'and infamy. 

The streets, with one or two exceptions, we^e pave- 
less lanes and alleys, choked with traffic and dust. 
The whole city was a narrow belt stretching along 
the shore, and going back only a few rods from the 
j-et unwalled sea. Two long wharves were thrust 
out over the mud left bare by the ebbing tide ; 
a new and stately brick block covered one of 
these, while crafts of all seas and flags hugged their 
sides, and made them livelier even than they are 
to-day. 

Adjoining one of these wharves lay an unknown 
vessel, with its unknown captain, cargo, and port of 
departure, that had among its unknown sailors one 
that has since become so well known. The brown, 
tough, wiry lad, then already — 

" Known to every star and every wind that blows," 

but utterly unknown of men, and seemingly unknown 
almost of his parents and his God, left his craft in his 
sailor-costume, and strolled through .the streets of the 
small but active commercial metropolis of his coun- 
try, on a pleasant evening in the autumn of 1811. 
On what thoughts he was intent we have no knowl- 
edge; probably on the usual thoughtless errands 
of sabbath-wandering youth. He passed by Park- 
street Church, where Dr. Griffin was then preach- 
ing, and whose sermon he afterwards described, and 
turned down the lane just north of it on the rio-ht 



TO THE GREAT CHANGE. 25 

of the street. The Methodist chapel was located 
in that alley. Both of these churches had been 
built but a few years. The Methodists were offered 
th6 site of the Park-street Church, then unoccupied^ 
a position far more eligible than the one they pur- 
chased ; but they felt too poor to erect a structure 
suitable to such a location, or, as they put it, they 
could not put up-a church with three sides of finished 
brick ; and so retreated to the humbler quarters neai 
at hand. 

Perhaps he drifted into Park Street on this very 
occasion, as he used to relate this incident. 

" I was walking along Tremont Street, and the bell 
of Park-street Church was tolling. I put in ; and, 
going to the door, I saw the port was full. I up helm, 
unfurled topsail, and made for the gallery ; entered 
safely, doffed cap or pennant, and scud under bare 
poles to the corner pew. There I hove to, and came 
to anchor. The old man. Dr. Griffin, was just 
naming his text, which was, ' But he lied unto 
him.' " 

" As he went on, and stated item after item, — how 
the devil lied to men, and how his imps led them into 
sin, — I said a hearty ' Amen ; ' for I knew all about 
it. I had seen and felt the whole of it.. 

" Pretty soon he unfurled the mainsail, raised the 
topsail, run up the pennants to free breeze ; and I 
tell you, the old ship Gospel never sailed more pros- 
perously. The salt spray flew in every direction ; but 
more especially did it run down my cheeks. I was 
melted. Every one in the house wept. Satan had 



26 FATHEK TAYLOR. 

to strike sail ; his guns were dismounted or spiked ; hn 
various light crafts, by which he led sinners captive, 
were all beached; ahd the Captain of the Lord's 
liost rode forth conquering and to conquer. I was 
young then. I said, ' Why can't I preach so ? I'll 
try it.' " 

. This event probably happened after his conver- 
sion ; for he was not in a mood before to appreciate a 
sermon. 

It might have been a providential leading, when 
this poor youth turned away from the elegant church, 
then the handsomest in the city, — and not far from 
that rank to-day, — probably because its elegance too 
sharply contrasted with his appearance, and entered 
the lowlier conventicle. He had possibly never 
been brought to Christ if this door had not been 
opened. 

Even this chapel was too ornate for him, — at least 
its entrance.' He climbed in at a window. Whether 
the crowd was so great that he could find no other mode 
of entrance, or whether his outcast state and feelings 
led him to " hang round " the window through which 
the subsequent power of the Spirit of God drew him, 
we have never heard. Possibly both : for the church 
in those days was crowded; and the poor, shy sailor, 
without a home or friends, felt himself an alien, and 
took his place where this feeling prompted. An out- 
cast was properly outside the sacred walls. 

Who brought him to Christ? It took a man to 
aave such a man. The preacher that night was Rev. 
Elijah Hedding. He was stationed for the first time 



TO THE GEEAT CHANGE. 27 

in the chief church of his denomination in the chief 
city of the East. He was afterwards twice stationed 
there. He was a powerful preacher, of the solid 
and earnest type, full of matter, full of fire. A 
large man, with large head, sober ways, borne down 
by the greatness of his mission, he was already 
marked out by the church of this section as its 
favorite leader. He was then thirty-one years old, 
in the juicy vigor of his manhood. He was born in 
Duchess County, New York ; born again in Vermont 
when sixteen years old ; became immediately a great 
circuit-rider and a greater revivalist, and at this early 
age had been brought to Boston for a few months 
only, probably to tide the new enterprise over its first 
embarrassments. His style of preaching was strong, 
clear, simple, earnest, devout : common-sense on fire 
was its truest characteristic. 

It is noticeable that two such famous preachers as 
Dr. Griffin and Bishop Hedding should have been 
brought together the only time in their history, 
around the conversion of Father Taylor, though that 
conjunction was merely nominal. He passed by the 
one, and drew near the other, as if only such fishers 
of men could catch such a man. He always spoke 
admiringly of Dr. Griffin, though Bishop Hedding 
was the idol of his heart. It may have been that only 
such a man of power could affect such a man of power. 
The homoeopathic axiom might be modified to 'this 
.case, and the Similia similia curant, " Like cures like," 
be the appropriate motto for this event in his history. 
Appropriate if one found it necessary to regard ex- 



28 FATHER TAYLOE. 

clusively the human instruments God employs in the 
work of conversion. The Holy Ghost in this service 
shows how indifferent He is sometimes to all channels 
of His divine impulses. It was shown in this instance 
also. For the preaching of Mt. Hedding was only 
one of the causes of his conversion. After the dis- 
course the usual invitation was given for mourners to 
come forward. The sailor had been drawn through 
the window by the preacher, but had got no farther. 
The young people then, as now, responded to the en- 
treaties of the preacher by their own direct effort, and, 
as soon as the invitation was given, started from their 
seats to solicit personally the unconverted to come 
ferward for prayers. 

Among those who went out on this mission was a 
young man of nineteen, named Thomas W. Tucker. 
As he walked down the aisle, his eye lighted on the • 
affected youth. He spoke to him, and asked him to 
go forward. It was the first time that any one had 
seemed to care for his soul ; perhaps the first time 
that he had been kindly addressed by any person 
outside of his own vocation. He yielded to the en- 
treaty, went forward, and began to beg for mercy. 

Father Taylor was always very demonstrative. The 
.lad Taylor was none the less so; While earnest 
l)iayers were offered in his behalf by the preacher and 
the brethren, he also began to wrestle with God him- 
self. With strong supplications he implored forgiving 
grace ; and, as his friend and deliverer says in a note 
lately written in his eightieth year,* " before the 

* He has died flince this book "was begun 



TO THE GREAT CHANGE. 29 

meeting was closed he was brought into the liberty 
of God's children." He immediately began — 

" To toll to all around 
"What a dear Saviour he had found." 

He was a shouting Methodist. Most MethodlstB iu 
tliose days were of this class. " Our meetings," says 
Father Tucker, " were not remarkable for their still- 
ness, even in Boston ; " and Edward T. Taylor was 
no stiller than the rest. He had found the pearl of 
great price : why should he not rejoice over it ? He 
was at last at home : why shotdd he not make merry 
and be glad ? He had never before been in a father's 
house. He had reached .his heavenly Father's first. 
How could he help shouting for joy? The poor, 
homeless, parentless wanderer had found riches, home, 
"parents. The house was warmed with the smile of 
God. The armor of Christ encompassed him ; the 
grasp of affectionate brothers and sisters astonished 
him. He had found his Father's family. They were 
poor in this world's goods, but heirs of the kingdom. 
They could sing lustily, — 

" What poor, despised company 
Of travellers are these? " 

And then break forth with rejoicings, — 

" Oh I these are of a royal line, 
All servants of the King ; 
Heirs of immortal crowns, divine, 
And, lol for joy they sing." 

Their comings-together were seasons of great com- 



iO FATHER TAYLOR. 

fort and gladness in tKe Holy Ghost. They loved 
one another as He, their divine Head, had given com- 
mandment. Their ministers were clothed with sal- 
vation, and the saints shouted aloud for joy. 

Into this happy family, on that autumn evening in 
1811, did this long-lost son find himself admitted. 
He broke out in his own language. Love opened the 
long-dumb lips, and he prayed and spoke that night. 
What he said is not remembered ; but it is never be- 
fore reported by any hearer that he spoke at all. 
Undoubtedly he spoke after his subsequent fashion, 
in quaihtness and freshness, though with a niuch 
greater mixture of bad grammar, wild words, and 
other defects, than he afterwards exhibited. Yet the 
sweet spirit, the humorous touch, the burning en- 
treaty, the felicitous expression, were all there. The ' 
first taste of a new fountain is precisely like its fol- 
lowing streams. His own description of this conver- 
sion is characteristic of the man, and deserves men- 
tion, as that utterance of his, connected with this new 
birth, which, if not his first recorded word, was un- 
doubtedly very like what he said on that memorable 
night in his history, and is at least his testimony to 
the fact that then he began first to be. He said, 
" I was dragged through the lubber-hole " (the win- 
dow), " brought down by a broadside from the se-«'- 
■enty-four, Elijah Hedding, and fell into the arms of 
Thomas W. Tucker." 

He never failed to dwell on this event with glad- 
ness. He rarely saw the companion into whose arms 
he fell, that he did not mention his instrumentality in 



TO THE GREAT CHANGE. 31 

his salvation, and kiss him affectionately in token of 
liis gratitude. He always referred to the bishop in 
terms of profoundest love and pride, and undoubtedly 
sought him out first among the heavenly hosts as 
that one under God who had been the means of re- 
deeming him unto God through the blood of the 
Lamb, and of making him a king and priest forever. 

At the memorial service on his death, held by the 
New-England Conference of the Methodist-Episcopal 
Church, at its session in Chicopee, Mass., April 19, 
1852, Father Taylor referred to these events, and to 
his relations to his honored friend. A correspondent 
of " The Springfield Republican," of that date, thus 
describes his address : — 

" Last evening, a meeting was held in the Metho- 
dist Church, with funeral services, in. commemoration 
of the late venerable Bishop Elijah Hedding ; prayer 
by Rev. A. D. Merrill. Bishop Morris, though exces- 
sively exhausted by the labors of the conference, 
opened with a brief but touching eulogy in behalf 
of the departed patriarch. The first time he saw 
him was at Baltimore, at the general conference in 
1824, where Mr. Hedding was first made bishop. He 
had been familiar with him for many years, in social 
and professional relations, and ever found him the 
same calm, noble, unswerving friend and servant of 
Christ. When Mr. Hedding first began the travelling 
connection, he felt himself deficient in the elementary 
branches of the English language, and purchased a 
small grammar for study. But the prejudice against 
education was so strong among the Methodists at 



32 FATHER TAYLOE. 

that time, that he dared not be seen studj jng the 
grammar; and so, while travelling, he would study by 
stealth, when any person approached being compelled 
to hide his book. He at last attained to high scholar- 
ship, and versatility in various branches of literature. 
Bishop Morris gave a most lucid, yet simple, view of 
the man, and closed by describing his triumphant exit. 
The last words Bishop Hedding was heard to utter, 
while pushing off from mortal shores, were, " Glory to 
God, glory, glory, glory ! " We observed some of 
the most intelligent and closely-cultivated clergymen 
deeply and unusually moved by Bishop Morris's calm, 
dignified, yet truly eloquent allusions to Hedding. 

" He was followed by Rev. Mr. Kilburn, who gave 
a very concise and comprehensive notice of the 
deceased. The service was concluded by Father 
Taylor. He opened his remarks in a manner entirely 
different from what was expected. The peroration 
was a masterpiece of tire grand, the original, the 
touching, and sublime. In Bishop Hedding, he had 
lost a father, — the only father he ever knew, since 
at an early day he was left an orphan, and now was 
unable to find the grave of either father or mother. 
He came into Boston a little sailor-boy, about forty 
years ago, and sought a place of worship. He wan- 
dered into Dr. Griffin's church, and heard him a while ; 
then, while passing down the street, he heard the 
sound of a voice, coming from a church crowded with 
enchained auditors. He entered the porch, and stood 
hearing. The preacher went on ; and, at last, the 
sailor-boy became so interested, that he walked clear 



TO THE GREAT CHANGE. 33 

up the aisle, so that he could see the preacher nearer. 
He stood till he found himself all riddled through and 
through by the man of God, and then he fell to the 
floor, weeping. That preacher was Hedding, and 
from that hour he had been his father. 

" But now his father had gone. Mr. Taylor here 
grew unusually pathetic, in dwelling upon the glori- 
ous exit of Hedding, and on the spirit-home to which 
he had gone. It was good enough for a bishop to die, 
shouting " Glory, glory ! " and in the smoke ascend 
to heaven. He invoked the presence of the departed 
patriarch, and prayed that the ministry of his spirit 
might be near. He believed that all the retinue of 
heaven would not prevent that sainted spirit from 
often coming down to mingle with those beloved 
brethren whom he had left laboring below. It was 
a thought full of rapture and joy. Here the whole 
audience seemed deeply moved in sympathy, as though 
actually realizing the animating presence of celestial 
spirits, hovering around on missions of divine good. 
It was a scene of surpassing delight ; and, none enter- 
taining faith in a rational Christian philosophy, would 
have failed being elevated with the gladsome theme 
of immortality. Each soul seemed to leap with joy 
at the presentation of immortal life ; and the spiritual, 
affeetional elements of the heart expanded with the sol- 
emn and serene hope of soon joining the innumerable 
throng of heavenly witnesses, hovering over this 
stormy pathway of the world, whispering of a world 
where the ransomed of the Lord shall clasp hands 
with palms of victory, and lift tlie everlasting song.' 
3 



III. 

TO THE PULPIT. 

nis Spiritual Honeymoon. — His First-remembered Jest. — He engages In i 
Privatcerjls Captured. — A Boston Friend a Friend indeed. — Hebecomes 
Chaplain to his Fellow-Prisoners. — His First Sermon and its Sharp Point, 
— His Visitant and her Keward. — His Trial-Sermon and its Text. — in- 
comes a Peddler. — Turns Farmer also in Saugus, and begins to preach.— 
first at a Widow's House, then at the " Rock School-house." — His Sayingc 
and Doings at Saugus and the Kegion round about. 

ri^HE young sailor was not allowed to long enjoy 
-L the society of his new-found brothers and sisters 
in Christ Jesus. He had to leave his " seventy- 
four," the cannon ader of a preacher, and his beloved 
comrades. The stress of Nature is on us all. Una- 
ware of the value of the gift that was in him, only 
aware that he was happy in the Lord, and that a ne-«- 
song had been put into his mouth, he turns again to his 
vocation. But he had a honeymoon on shore, it ap- 
pears, from some minutes of memories. A good lady 
tells the story of his attending class-meeting at her 
house. Probably it was in coming thither on a stormy 
night, a good ways from liis boarding-house, that his 
first-remembered jest was uttered : when she asked 
him how he got there on such a night, he answered, 
■■' On my molher's colt." 

84 



TO THE ± ^ufiT. 35 

He was beloved by all at the start ; and his bright 
sayings found lodgement in many remembering ears 
and hearts. His fervor, simplicity, and humor drew 
attention instantly ; and, had his culture been up to 
the humble standard required ' by his church at that 
time, he would have soon been thrust out into the 
ministry. But he was scarcely' able to read ; and one 
who could not read his hymns or text was thought 
hardly sufQciently educated for his very liberal 
church in that very liberal era of her development. 
I; was better that he should grow slowly. So off he 
went to sea again : this time joining patriotism and, 
his profession together, by embarking in a privateer, 
" The Black Hawk." He harmed the British merchant- 
service as the American was harmed by British pri- 
vateers nearly half a century afterwards. Whether 
he succeeded in doing much damage or not is not 
recorded. The damage he suffered is better recorded. 
He was captured bj' a British man-of-war, and carried 
to Mellville Island, thence to Dartmoor Prison, and 
confined as a prisoner of war. His confinement was 
relieved by an act of friendship, the fruit of his Bos- 
ton experience, and that showed how valuable in its 
earthly, no less than in its heavenly relations, was the 
kinship he had made in Bromfield Lane. The story 
and its pleasant sequel were thus told in the columns 
of " The Methodist " : — 

"During the last war between England and the 
United States, there lived in an obscure suburb of the 
city of Boston a poor but devoted Enghsh woman, 
who, having lost her husband soon after her emigra- 



36 FATHER TAYLOR. 

lion, depended for her subsistence on the earnings of 
her needle. Her neighbors were of the lowest class, 
ignorant and vicious. She felt in her poverty and 
toils, that God might have east her lot in these un 
favorable circumstances for some good purpose, and 
began zealously to plan for the religious improvement 
of lier neighborhood. Among other means, she 
opened her small front-room several times a week for 
a prayer-meeting, and procured the aid of several 
Methodists in conducting it. Much of the good seed 
thus scattered with a faith that hoped against hope, 
and in a soil that seemed nothing but arid sand, pro- 
duced good fruit. Among the attendants at the 
evening-meeting was a young mariner, with an intel- 
lectual eye, a prepossessing countenance, and the 
generous susceptibilities of a sailor's heart. Amid 
the corruptions of his associates, he had been noted 
for his temperance and excellent disposition. His 
fine traits interested much the good English woman 
and her religious associates ; and they could not see 
why God would not make some use of him among 
his comrades. She hoped that Providence would in 
some way provide for his future instruction ; but, in 
the midst of her anticipations, he was suddenly sum- 
moned away to sea. He had been out but a short 
time when the vessel was seized by a British priva- 
teer, and carried into Halifax, where the crew suffered 
a long and wretched imprisonment. 

" A year had passed awaj', during wliich the good 
woman had heard nothing of the young mariner. 
Her hopes of him were abandoned as extravagant, in 



TO THE PULPIT. 37 

view of his unsettled mode of life, and its peculiai 
impediments to his improvemeat. Still, she remem- 
bered and prayed for him with the solicitude of a 
mother. About this time she received a letter from 
lier kindred, who had settled in Halifax, on business 
which required her to visit that town. While there, 
lier habitual disposition to be useful led h'er, with a 
few fiiends, to visit the prison with tracts. Tn one 
apartment were the American prisoners. As she ap- 
proached the grated door, a voice shouted her name, 
calling her mother ; and a youth beckoned and leaped 
for joy at the grate : it was the lost sailor-boy. They 
wept and conversed like mother and son ; and when 
she left she gave him a Bible, his future guide and 
comfort. Daring her stay at Halifax, she constantly 
visited the prison ; supplying the youth with tracts, 
religious books, and clothing, and endeavoring, by 
her conversation, to secure the religious impressions 
made on his mind by the prayer-meetings in Boston. 
After some months, she removed to a distant part of 
the Provinces, and for years she heard nothing more 
of the youth. ... 

" During my second year in Boston, an aged English 
local preacher moved to the city from the British 
Provinces, and became connected with my charge. 
His wife, though advanced in years, had that coUo- 
q uial vivacity, motherly affectionateness, and air of 
tidiness which we often find in the better-trained 
women of the common people of England. I felt a 
cordial comfortableness about their humble" hearth 
which was not to be found in more stately dwellings. 



38 FATHER TAYLOIl. 

and often resorted to it for an hour of sociability and 
conversation. I thus became acquainted with her 
history, her former residence in the city, the 
evening prayer-meeting, her removal to the Prov- 
inces, her second marriage. . . . 

" The old local preacher was mingling in a public 
throng one day with a friend, when they met ' Father 
Taylor.' A few words of introduction led to a free 
conversation, in which the former residence of his 
wife in the city was mentioned. An allusion was 
made to her prayer-meeting: her former name was 
asked by ' Father Taylor.' He seemed seized '^j an 
impulse; inquired their residence; hastenea^away, 
antl in a short time arrived in a carriage, witli all his 
family, at the home of the aged pair. There a scene 
ensued which I must leave to the imagination of the 
reader. ' Father Taylor ' was the sailor-boy of the 
prayer-meeting and the prison ; the old lady was the 
widow who had first cared for his soul. They had 
met once more. 

" Her husband has since gone to heaven ; and she 
resides in humble but comfortable obscurity, un- 
known to the world, but having exerted upon it, 
through the sailor-preacher, an influence for good 
which the final day alone can fully reveal." 

The piety he thus exhibited and educated bore its 
first fruits among his shipmates. The captives were 
compelled to listen to a chaplain whose read-prayers 
were an abomination in their Puritan ears, and whose 
eermons, .full of British sentiments, grated harshly on 



TO THE PULPIT. 39 

tlieir American feelings. They had noted young 
Taylor's' piety and fervor; and they urged him, as 
Jonah's shipmates did their stray prophet, to rise 
and call upon his God. 

" You can pray for yourself," they said : " we have 
often noticed these devotions : why not pray for us, 
and so rid us of this disagreeable chaplain." 

He timidly engaged in the work to which the 
voice within and the voices without alike invited him. 
He had such " liberty " in the act, that all felt as if 
unchained under the inspiring Presence. They asked 
the commandant to relieve the chaplain of his prayer- 
duty with them, as they could supply themselves 
from a chaplain of their own. The favor was granted 
them ; and they were allowed to call upon their God 
after the fashion of their own country, and by the 
lips of their own fellow-prisoner. 

Emboldened by their success in exchanging a hos- 
tile for a loyal chaplain in one part of the service, 
they made a yet further effort. They said to the boy 
that prayed so well, " You must preach also." He 
protested against such presumption. " Preach, im- 
possible ! " he could not read : how could he preach ? 
But they were as sick of the sermons to which they 
were forced to listen as they had been of the prayers. 
Tliej' had got rid of one ; they would of the other. 
They declared that he could talkon his feet as well 
as on his knees ; that all they wanted was compliance 
with the requisition of the commandant ; and this 
he could accomplish to their satisfaction. Pressed 
by these comrades, but moved also within of the Holy 



40 FATHEK TAYI.OK. 

Ghost, he diffidently began his life-work. He begau 
it characteristically. 

Sitting down with one of his shipmates, he asked 
liim to read passages from the Bible. As he read. 
T'aylor listened, with ear attent for a word that would 
suggest a sermon. He was a prisoner, and felt it; a 
patriot, and felt it ; a Christian, and felt it. The fel- 
low prisoner and patriot, possibly fellow-Christian 
also, opened and read from the Ecclesiastes. He 
struck on this passage, " A poor and a wise child 
better is than an old and foolish king." 

" Stop ! " cried Taylor ; " read that again." 

It \Ya.s read again. 

" That will do ! " he exclaims. " Give me the chap- 
ter and verse." 

Chapter and verse were given, and the young man 
sat brooding his sermon. The hour came and the au- 
dience, — not the regular Jiour, for that would have 
brought the regular preacher, — but an extempora- 
neous occasion, a sort of trial-meeting, as well as trial- 
sermon. The youth began, blundering and tangled, 
but with the root of the matter in him ; which root 
speedily burst forth into rich blossoms and fruit. As 
he rushed on the river of his speech, and described 
the old and foolish king, with burning words of sar- 
casm and illustration, they all trembled for them- 
selves and their youthful preacher: for his Boston- 
Richmond blood was up. The king their fathers had 
fought for eight weary years, from whom they had 
wrested their independence, was then, though an 
idiot, •■ o]'] and foolish," waging war against the sons 



TO THE PULPIT. 4J 

of their fathers, and holding him and his associates 
fast in Iris cruel chains. He blazed in similes, de- 
scribing such A character. He fired broadside aftel 
broadside of -wit and madness into the sinking craft. 
Seeing the peril in which his epithets were placing 
him, he cried out, — 

" You think I mean King George : I don't, I mean 
the Devil." 

This hit was worse than all that preceded it, 
and set him down at once for being as adroit as he 
was bold, as capable of fi.ring Parthian arrows as ad- 
vancing shots. The officers could have found no fault 
with such a retreat, and the prisoners exulted in its 
tact and jDoint. He was instantly voted their chap- 
lain ; and a note was sent to the commandant petition- 
ing for the privilege of having their own praying 
and preaching done by their fellow-captive. It was 
granted. 

Thus he began his life-work among his own brothers 
of the sea, in the hold of a prison-vessel, himself 
a prisoner. 

We do not recall a like instance. Joseph exercised 
his prophetic gifts in prison ; but he had been before 
fcicognized by his jealous brothers as appointed to this 
service. Silas and Paul made the walls of their dun- 
geon echo to their shoutings ; but they had both been 
revival preachers long before this experience befell 
them. Bunyan, Daniel, Montgomery, many Puritan, 
VVesleyan, and other ministers of Christ, have 
preached the gospel in their cells ; but Edward T. 
Taylor was' noticeable among them all for being 



12 FATHER TAYLOR. 

thrust out into the ministry by fellow-captives, him- 
self a captive. 

It may have seemed to him, up to that time, that 
his outcast youth had become more desolate with the 
very joy into which he had been lifted at tliat Brom- 
fi eld-street altar. He had found his Father's house, 
only to be thrust into greater homelessness. His soul 
had been lifted up to heaven, only to be the more cast 
down. He had gone out from those happy class-meet- 
ings, those shouting prayer-meetings, those warm 
grasps, and sacred, sunny smiles, those earnest, godly 
b;ermou.s, all that heavenly companionship, and had 
Found himself among enemies and in captivity. Con- 
fined iu a dirty hold, fed on miserable food, his uneasy 
spirit dashed against the walls of his prison-house. 
He pined for liberty. 

But " this longing, this forever sighing," drove him 
to his knees and his Christ. He built up inwardly in 
faith and purpose. He grew in grace and in character. 

Above all, he was led by this ciiastisement to the 
woili of his life ; out of bis prison he came forth a 
preacher. He might have never attained that honor 
but for these painful events. It took this power- 
ful pressure to solidify such incongruous elements,, 
to crystallize such an inchoate genius. No more 
clearly did Saintine, as prisoner, learn the true faith 
by studying the tiny flower under his cell-window, 
tiian did the young sailor learn his life-work under 
this misfortune. He 

" Touched God's right hand in the darkness, 
And was lifted up and strengtliened." 



TO THE PD-LPIT. 43 

He emerged from his captivity, not ready for his 
nailing, bat in preparation for it. His doom was 
sealed ; and, however long he might linger by the way, 
his destiny was marked out. He must be a preacher 
of the gospel of Christ. 

Edward T. Taylor, though thrust out into the 
ministry by his Master, was not sent forth unpre- 
pared. He had the armor of righteousness on the 
right hand and on the left. He had the sword of the 
Spirit, the helmet of salvation, the shield of faith. 
In this he quenched all the fiery darts of the wicked. 
He was even more endowed than this ; for he had a 
wit of the brightest and readiest, an imagination all 
compact, a voice and manner fascinating to the mul- 
titude. These needed not learning to make them 
mighty. They needed faith and zeal and love for 
God and for souls ; and these they had, and with 
these he went forth an educated minister. 

His first official essay is varidusly told. Tiie most 
authentic statement is from an old lady, still a mem- 
ber of Bromfield-street Church, who says she heard 
him preach his trial-sermon before the quarterly 
conference for a license, to preach. " The body that 
issues this permit is composed of the oiBcial members 
of the church, th6 class-leaders and stewards (from 
twelve to twenty men), with the minister and jsresid- 
ing elder. The candidate for the ministry was some- 
times required to preach before the body. In a little 
chapel, or " vestry," which ran across the front of the 
house over the entrance, perched up in a narrow box, 
to a small weekly audience, the sailor preacher made 



44 FATHER TAYLiUxi. 

his first formal effort ; very informal it was, though 
characteristic of the man. His text was announced, 
" I pray thee, let me live ! " His usual wit stood 
him in its stead in this moment of fear. He has been 
cliarged with being yet more brusque and fearless, and 
with startling his auditors by declaring as the motto 
of his sermon, " By the life of Pharaoh, ye are 
spies ! " He might have warmed himself up to this 
pitch before he concluded, or possibly tossed it fortli 
in conversation before or after his sermon ; but he 
would hardly dare to test their votes so severely as 
its selection for a text would have done. 

Tla^ listener we have mentioned, and the only one 
alive that we are aware of who heard that sermon, 
says, '' He flung himself around his little pulpit-stand 
with immense contortion, and frequently used the 
rough phrase, ' rag-tag and bobtail.' " Rev. Joseph A. 
Merrill was then pastor of the church, and through his 
efforts and those of Rev. George Pickering this oppor- 
tunity' was obtained, and the end they desired secured. 
The quarterly conference saw that his fervor and tal- 
ent offset his defects ; and he found them willing to re- 
spond affirmatively to his prayer, and "let him live." 

Either before tliis or soon after, he changed the 
sea-life for shore-life, — the forecastle for the ped- 
dler's cart. William Rutter, the proprietor of a junk- 
taore in Ann Street, was his employer. He thus be- 
gan his land-life where his sea-life naturally closed, 
and near where his latest life was passed. In this 
cart he wandered about the country, an itinerant of 
the land as he had been of the sea, and trainin^T him- 



TO THE PULPIT. 40 

Belf unconsciously in both spheres for ti e otlier itiner- 
ancy which the Church was to give him. He preached 
as he went, combining both vocations, as Bunyan did 
before liim ;■ except that Bunyan took his journeys on 
foot, and Taylor was at the start master of a horse 
and cart, though not his own. 

The beginning of his ministerial career was in 
Saugus. This was then a scattered town with two 
small villages. The one that adjoined the coast 
and the town of Lynn was occupied chiefly by shoe- 
makers. In this village, a rocky bluff crowned a 
narrow street that wound up a moderate hill. The 
rocky point looked out over salt marshes and across 
the bay of Lynn to Nahant, a few miles away. 
On its front edge perched a small red schoolhouse, 
of the old-fashioned sort, not yet evanished from 
country New England. This " Rock Schoolhouse," 
as it was called, became the first theatre of his works 
and fame. 

A native of the town, Capt. Fales Newhall, son- 
in-lajW of Solomon Brown, and father of Rev. Dr. F. 
H. Newhall, thus tells this story : — 

" He entered Saugus, about the year 1814, as a ped- 
dler of tin and iron ware, and buyer of rags. In the 
north part of the town, there lived a very pious old 
widow, Mrs. Sweetser, whose husband had left her a 
small farm. The young peddler put up .it her house 
several times. After she became acquainted with 
him, she offered him a home if he would till the land, 
and take care of the farm. Taylor accepted the 
offer, abandoned his peddling, and became a farmer. 



ib FATHER TAYLOB. 

The old lady taught him to read. In the eai-ly part 
of 1815, as near as can be ascertained, he began to 
liold meetings first in Mrs. Sweetser's house. He 
liiid held meetings but a very short time before any 
l)lace where he officiated would be crowded. Many 
experienced religion. The first time he appeared at 
a meeting in East Saugus was in the ' Old Roclf 
Schoolhouse.' The Rev. B. F. Lambdrd, the pre- 
siding elder of the Boston District, preached. As 
soon as Mr. Lambord finished his sermon, a stranger 
who sat in the middle of one of the long, old-fash- 
ioned seats, juinped up, and sprang over two of the 
writing-benches, landed behind the little desk along- 
side of the preacher, took off his coat, and began 
to exhort at the top of his voice, pacing back and 
forth, frequently bringing his fist down upon the old 
pine desk. This was E. T. Taylor. At the close of 
the meeting Solomon Brown took him home with 
him, and there he put up for the night. From that 
time Father Tajdor and Father Brown were fast 
friends. Father Taylor told me once that he/had 
slept in every room in the house, and he loved every 
board and every nail in it. It was like the house of 
Obed-edom.' 

" In those days, when he was to hold a meeting in 
tJie evening, he would get some one the afternoon 
before to read the Bible to him.- He would sit listen- 
ing very attentively; suddenly he would cry out, 
' Stop there ! put your finger there. Read that verse 
over again, — again, — again. That will do.' And 
that verse would be his text for the eveninsr. 



TO THE i-UlilTl'. 47 

"•At one time, when Taylor was holding a meeting 
in the ' Old Rock,' a man came in with a horse-whip 
in his hand, and threatened to whip Taylor if he did 
not stop his noise. Father Brown and John Siuiw 
stepped l)etween him and the horse-whip, and told 
him to go on; and he went on. The man knew bet- 
ter than to use his whip where Brown and Sliaw 
were. A rich lady, at the same time, came to the 
door, and began talking to the women present, telling 
them they had better be at home mending their hus- 
bands' clothes. She turned to Father Brown, and said, 
' We respect you, Mr. Brown.' — ' Oh, yes ! ' said 
Father Brown : ' here comes the flattering devil now. 

"Father Taylor frequently visited an old lady in 
the village by the name of Ballard ; and there studied 
" Doddridge's Notes on the Bible," two or three hours 
at a time, often calling on her or her daughter to tell 
him how to pronounce some of the words, and the 
meaning of them. This daughter (now nearly eighty 
years old) is my informant. 

" He was once holding a meeting in Father Brown's 
house. After he got through with the first singing, 
he left the room, went through the front entry into 
the kitchen, looked into the old-fashioned chimne}^- 
corner, and there sat Elijah Hedding, who was then 
stationed at Lynn Common, and Elijah Downing, a 
prominent member of the Lynn-Common Churcli. 
Taylor looked them both in the face, shook his head 
without speaking, returned to his place in the other 
room, and went on with his meeting. 



48 FATHER TAYLOR. 

Elijah Downing, it is %aid, did not approve of the 
sailor preacher ; and he might have felt afraid that he 
was influencing his old friend, Elijah Hedding, unfa- 
vorably. Hence his frown. 

" When preaching otice in this schoolhouse, he 
said, ' After talking about Franklin, who played with 
Hie lightnings of heaven as a boy plays with a top, and 
of Washington, who conquered the red-coats of Brit-* 
ain, shall we be afraid to talk about Jesus, who drove 
the black battalions to hell ? ' This was roared out 
like the roaring of a lion. The text on that occasion 
was, ' Buy the truth, and sell it not.' That sermon 
did great good, and was remembered a long time. 
Years afterwards, when we met in the street, the 
text would be repeated, ' Buy the truth, and sell 
it not,' and the sermon talked about by us who 
heard it. 

" When an opponent to his earnest appeals on future 
punishment sought to entrap him, by sajdng, ' If you 
should go to hell, and find the doors and windows all 
locked, and the keys thrown away, what would you 
do ? ' — 'I should expect to see you there to find 
them for me,' was the quick response." 

Like other young men, he was tempted to a little 
flirtation ; and, teasing two young ladies after the 
youthful fashion, he was rebuked by the lady of tJie 
house, who said to him after one of his unguarded 
sayings, 'lam sony you made such a remark.' — 
' Better be sorry for your sins,' was his quick and own 
reply. 

Ou another occasion, some one speaking of what 



TO THE PULPIT. 49 

a live meeting they had, he replied, 'Yes; live 
oak.'" 

The little shoemaker's shop of Solomon Brown 
•stood, and yet stands, on the road from Lynn to Mai- 
den, not far from the East-Saugus Church. The house 
adjoins it whose every nail he loved, and where he 
found, his first-known friends. Mr. Brown was a 
sturdy specimen of the Methodist Puritan of his day, 
a discerner of spirits, a trainer of spirits. He saw 
the mettle of the young steed, and knew that despite 
his oddities there was much in him. He fostered his 
talent, guiding it wisely. He was a good adviser as well 
as good friend ; and under his training the unkempt 
genius began to " buckle itself within the belt of rule." 

Here, too, he first met another of the men who 
had no small influence over his whole life. Rev. Dr 
Frederic Upham, and who was the only one of his 
earliest friends that spoke at his funeral. He was 
preacher when he first met him, was nearly ten years 
younger, but was his senior in advantages. His story 
is thus told : — 

" I became acquainted with Rev. E. T. Taylor in 
1815. He was then living in North Saugus, work- 
ing on a farm he hired, and holding meetings on the 
sabbath, in a private house situated on his place. I 
remember hearing him tell a boy he emploj'ed, to go 
into the field, and lead up my horse. He went and 
returned, saying, he could not find him. Taylor re- 
plied with great authority, saying, ' Go over to the 
starboard side of the pasture, and look for the horse.' 
The poor boy started quickly, but we presume found 



50 FATHER TAYLOR. 

it difficult to ascertain which was the ' starboard side 
of the pasture.' 

" 1816, a Methodist brother in North Saugus, by the 
name of Feleh, employed me of my father (as I vvai? 
then a minor), to go over to Saugus, and instruct him 
and his sons in shoemaking. E. T. Taylor boarded in 
the same family with me, and I was his room-mate. 
In a few weeks, he asked me if I was willing for him 
to come Into the shop and receive instruction in shoe- 
making. I informed him he might, if my employer 
had no objections. There being no objections made, 
he obtained a shoemaker's bench and a few tools, and 
came into the shop. I perceived, on looking at his 
bench, that it was left-handed. He remarked that 
■ did not make any difference ; and it did not to liim. 
In a few weeks he gave up the business. He never 
advanced far enough to bristle the shoemaker's thread. 

" He was then holding meetings every sabbath, and 
worked hard in preparing for preaching. He prayed 
much ; and labored hard to learn to read his text, and 
to give out the page on which his hymns were found 
and the two lines of the hymns. He attracted great 
attention in Saugus, Lynn, Lynnfield, and North Mai- 
den. In all those places his labors were attended 
with a great blessing to many. 

" He was accustomed to spend all day Saturday in 
his room, studying, not his sermon, but the words of 
liis text, and the two first lines of each verse of his 
hymns, — as'they were then ' lined ' by the minister. 
It was no small job to acquire this ability. He was 
very powerful in praj er in these earliest days. He 



TO THE PULPIT. 51 

had learned the fourteenth chapter of John, almost 
the only chapter he knew ; and this he always read 
in family prayers. But the prayer itself was always 
new, and remarkable for its figures as well as ftu' 
its faith." 

In some historic memoranda on the Methodist-Epis- 
copal Church in Saugus, written by Hon. B. F. New- 
hall, and published in the " Lynn Reporter," there ar'e 
several incidents narrated of Father Taylor. After 
describing the meetings at " the Rock," and the per- 
secutions, clerical and popular, which the worship- 
pers suffered, and noticing the first efforts and ia.m& 
of Taylor in the farm-house of " Ma'am Sweetser," he 
adds, — 

" As might have been expected, the ' Rock School- 
house ' was the popular theatre for the display of Mr. 
Taylor's growing talent as a preacher. Almost every 
Sunday night, for a long time, those rocky cliffs re- 
sounded with his eloquence. But all his native talent 
did not shield him from persecution. Scarcely an at- 
tempt was made at public speaking that did not give 
rise to more or less tumult. Some of those scenes, 
thou"h abouuding with invective and abuse, were 
nevertheless ludicrous as well as tumultuous. 

" The reader will imagine himself jammed into one 
of those narrow seats, of a summer evening, just as 
tiie strippling Taylor enters and takes his position 
behind the desk, at the same time strippuig off liia 
coat, and rolling up his shirt-sleeves, and uttering tiiis 
emphatic exclamation : ' I am not going round Robin 
Hood's barn, this evening, but shall at once touch the 



52 FATHBK TAYLOK. 

pith and marrow of the subject.' Having taken his posi 
tioii, Solomon, the enthusiastic devotee of Methodism, 
takes his seat upon a pine bench behind him. Prayei 
being offered, and a hymn sung, the youthful preacher 
pioceeds to administer one of his scathing rebukes to 
tiie sinners of the nineteenth century, backed up by 
some appropriate application of Scripture, when all 
at -jnce A. B. belches forth at the top of his voice, 
' That is a lie ! ' clinching the expression with an oath. 
Instantly C. D. chimes in with a loud voice, ' That is 
not to be found in my Bible.' E. F. inquires, ' How 
long will you tolerate this impertinent, ignorant fel- 
lo^v ? ' Amid all this din and confusion, the clear, 
shrill voice of Solomon is heard : ' Fight on, Brother 
Taylor, fight on ; the Lord is on your side, and you 
have nothing to fear.' 

" Order being partially restored, the preacher re- 
sumes, but makes only brief progress, when A. B. again 
breaks forth, ' That is insufferable, and should not be 
borne : I move tar and feathers.' — ' Yes, yes,' chimes 
in CD., ' and a rail-ride out of town.' — 'And why, gen- 
tlemen, delay ? I move it be done at once,' says E. F., 
in a loud voice. Again the clear tones of Solomon 
break forth : ' Fight on. Brother Taylor, fight on ; 
victory is sure.' 

" On one occasion, a fellow of the ' baser sort ' en- 
tered the house just before the services began, a very 
little mellowed by the ardent, and, advancing to the 
front of the desk, leaned his elbows thereon, and, ad- 
dressing Mr. Brown, who was seated behind it, said, 
' Now, Sol, I've come to hear you. I've heard a good 



TO THE PULPIT. 5b 

ileal about your preaching, and so I thought I'd come 
myself. Now, Sol, don't be bashful ; get up, and 
give 'em some. Come, come, be quick, and don't 
keep me waiting.' 

" After several minutes of similar harangue, Solo- 
mon arose from his seat, and stepping up to the desk, 
and giving it a blow with his fist sufficient to shiver 
a common pine board, exclaimed at the top of his 
voice, ' You are of your, father, the Devil ; and his 
works you do.' Following this, the prevailing vices 
of the day received one of the most scorching rebukes 
that was ever administered, with a close-fitting appli- 
cation. After listening a few minutes, the auditor 
turned upon his heel with a broad grin, saying, as- he 
departed, ' Well done, Sol : you've done it up well ; 
and I'll call again in a week or two, and hear you 
further." ' ' ' 

The following incident shows that he felt his lack 
of culture, and knew how to turn it to advantage. 
When his friend, Mr. Brown, was reading the Bible 
to him, that he might find a text on Christ, he came 
on the words, " How knoweth this man letters, having 
never learned ? " — "That's it!" he cried, and was 
instantly ready for the fray, preaching all the moi e 
powerfully, from the consciousness that in some sense 
he had, in this defect, sympathy with his Master. 

He was very imperious then, and never got over it. 
He held his pulpit as a quarter-deck. In a praj^ev- 
meeting, of which he had charge, after he and several 
others had prayed, there was a pause. "Pray on, 
brethren ; pray on, sisters^ ' he said. All remained 



54 FATHER TAYLOR. 

quiet, — no response. After repeating the request 
two or three times, and eliciting no response, he 
shouted out as stern and sharp as an officer on a ship 
of war, " Sally Raddin, pray ! " And Sally Raddin 
instantly obeyed and pi-ayed. 

Rev. William Rice of Springfield, formerly sta- 
tioned in Saugus, narrates these incidents of his 
career there : — 

" While preaching on one occasion, in the beginning 
of his ministry, in the ' Old Rock Schoolhouse ' in 
Saugus, he happened to discover, as he glanced his eye 
through the window, that the horse of a physician 
who was present was trampling upon the reins which 
had slipped down under his feet. ' Doctor,' said the 
minister, stopping in the midst of his sermon, 'your 
horse has got his halyards about his legs.' 

"■ The last time I saw Father Brown (the old patri- 
arch of the Saugus Church) and Father Taylor together 
was on the day of the dedication of the new Saugus 
Church. The meeting was a joyful one to both ; and 
their joy was manifest in action and in words as thej 
embraced each other, and talked over the days lone 
gone by. Said Taylor, ' We cut things right down 
square in those days. We did not mince matters. If 
we couldn't lift up the sinner in any other way, we 
just lifted the door a little, and let him smell hell." 

At the funeral of his old friend. Father Taylor got 
up, looked around on the people with his arms folded 
for a few seconds, aud then, stretching out his arm, with 
his finger pointing at the body, he said, " Mark the 
perfect man." Arms folded again ; " Behold the up- 



TO THE PtTLPIT. 55 

nght." Arms unfolded, and finger stretclied out again ; 
" The end of that man is peace ! peace I " Leaning 
over the pulpit, he added, " Children, nothing to cry- 
about here : the king is gone to be crowned. He was 
a king here, but was not crowned. When I was a 
gieon boy, he took me under his wing, in the ' Old 
Rock.' " And on he marched, in a strain of weeping 
joy, following his ascended friend. 

Thus he gradually worked out of his earlier secular 
callings into the sacred one that was to absorb his life. 
Converted in 1811, we find him in 1815 pursuing vari- 
ous avocations, — peddling, farming, and essaying 
shoemaking ; preaching meantime on Sundays and in 
protracted meetings, over a circuit of his own organ- 
ization ; witty and pungent, studious and prayerful ; 
seemingly unaware of the greatness of the talent that 
was given to him. He was a youthful rustic Whitefield, 
thrilling like rustic audiences with his winged words 
and fiery inspiration. More than Patrick Henry was 
he a " forest-born Demosthenes ; " for he had no such 
family rank or culture as belonged to that historic 
name. He confined himself to his little sphere, and 
only rejoiced when souls under his appeals were con- 
verted to God. 

He had gi-own in these few years, steadily and 
strongly in character, confidence, and success. Step 
by step, from the Dartmoor Prison to the Rock School- 
house, he had modestly but continually advanced, till, 
at last, tlie eye of the people was fastened on him, 
and the hearts of the people clung to him. Born in 
Brorafield Street, the chief church of the conference, 



50 FATHER TAYLOR. 

receiving his license to preach from that dignified 
body, he goes down among the farmers, shoemakers, 
and fishermen to make proof of his apostleship. As 
Wesley took Oxford to the miners of Newcastle and 
Cornwall ; so Taylor, with a touch of aristocracy he 
never lost, carried his superior spiritual birthplace into 
the rural settlements. He also cliose his associates 
as well. No men are wiser in both worldly and un- 
wordly wisdom than shoemakers of the old school. 
They combine the shrewdness of the serpent and the 
harmlessness of the dove. They are sympathetic and 
solid, warm-liearted and critical. They are best of 
workers as well as listeners : nothing escapes their 
ci'ilicism, nothing comes before their love. 

1 1 was well for him they should have charge of his 
earliest training. Thej' corrected his antics ; they 
applauded his talents. " The rag-tag and bob-tail," 
that troubled the Bromfield-street nobility, were 
picked out of his sermons by these loving critics, who 
commended more than they censured. He grew in 
graciousness as in grace, during his year or two of 
labor here, and laid the foundation of a solid and 
growing fame among this appreciative and affection- 
ate people. To this day his name is held in reverence 
in all this vicinage ; and the new church near this 
old Rock, as seen from the Eastern-railroad cars, at- 
tests at once to liis youthful humility and efficiency, 
and bears down to the myriads of to-day and to- 
morrow the name of the peddler, shoemaker, and 
preacher that helped in obscurity to lay its endurino 
I'oundations. 



TO THE PULPIT. 57 

Thus Lucy Larcom, in her ride from Beverly to 
Rodton, describes this church close bj* the " Rock," on 
which he founded his fame : — 

" You can ride in an hour or two, if you will, 
From Halibut Point to Beacon Hill, 
With the sea beside you an the way, 
Through the pleasant places that skirt the bay ; 
By Gloucester Harbor and Beverly Beach, 
Salem, witcli-haimted, Nahant's long reach. 
Blue-bordered Swampscot, and Chelsea's wide 
Marshes, laid bare to the drenching tide. 
With a glimpse of Saugns spire in lliu west, 
Ami Maiden hills wrapped in dreamy rest." 



IV. 

TO THE CIRCUIT. 



Tbne Tears' Delay. —The Obstacle to his Itinerancy in Himsel f, in the Work. — 
Uo piirsiics ills other Callings. — A Word dropped in Lynn. — He is up in 
Vermont, and preaches with great Power. — Is at Rev. George llckering's 
Door. — Is assisted by Amos Binney. — Goes to Newmarket Seminary. — 
Taylor and Enter. — Stays Si-l Weeks, and takes the Valedictory.— 
Goes to Marblchead. — Ueglns Ills Life-work, and falls in Love. 



THOUGH the sailor-boy had evidently received 
his commission from the people as well as from 
the Church, it was still several years before he entered 
the regular itinerant work. Tlie reasons that com- 
pelled this delay can be easily apprehended. Two 
barriers stood in his way, — one in himself, the other 
ill the profession to which he was called. He had 
great impediments in himself. His burning light was 
in no fit candlestick. He could not readily read, if 
he could powerfully expound, the Word of God. The 
hymn-book, that treasure-house of Christian worship, 
was largely to him a sealed book. He had no prepa- 
ration for the work his soul was impelled to by all its 
mightj'' forces. 

Added to these difficulties in himself, which he was 
constantly toiling to subdue, were obstacles in the 

68 



TO THE CIECUIT. 59 

work itself. The itinerancy in those days was no pleas- 
ure-ground. Rich appointments were not yet born. 
Handsome churches, choice parsonages, wealthy pa- 
rishioners, — none of these temptations were set before 
the youthful aspirant for the Methodist pulpit. The 
circuits were large in extent, small in membership, 
and poor in financial ability. His circuit, four years 
after this, had not a church in all its scoi-e of miles 
square. The schoolhouses, barns, kitchens, and woods 
were all they could call their own ; and the school- 
houses they could not always claim. They were as 
poor as they were few. With his own hands must 
their preacher, like Paul, labor for his own support. 
The prospects of the poor sailor, peddler, and farmer 
were not financially improved by entering the travelling 
ministry. He could get a better livelihood by staying 
where he was, preaching evenings and Sabbaths as he 
had opportunity, and stirring up the gift that was in 
him in this limited way. 

This gift may have had greater limitations than 
might appear from its local popularity and subsequent 
fame ; for it does not appear that it was widely called 
into exercise. Though the large town of Lynn was 
only a mile or two away, and though Methodism had 
already here a flourishing position, young Taylor has 
no marked connection with its history. He may have 
been too rough a diamond for their discerning eye to 
detect. He worked in an opposite and less-developed 
direction, and made his rural fame, unspoiled both by 
the city, not far away, that was to be the crown of 
his labors, and the flourishing town close at hand, that 



60 FATHER TAYLOB. 

might have harmed the diamond had it sought to 
shape it. 

Perhaps a story told of him as happening at Lynn 
may account for his infrequent appearance in that 
then almost exclusively Methodist toWu. If he made 
such mistakes often lie would affect their delicate ears 
unfavorably. It -was related by Rev. Solomon Sias, 
almost the first publisher of " Zion's Herald." He 
said, " Taylor undertook to preach out at Lynn, tak- 
ing for his text a portion of Scripture which speaks of 
leprosy. Father Taylor dashed into the subject, but 
without evidently knowing what the leprosy was, and 
without trying to explain it much ; but presently got 
the disease located in the heart, where he had full 
swing, calling it the leper in the heart, and went 
through the discourse in good shape and glowing lan- 
guage ; the Lord," as Mr. Sias said, "giving his 
seal of approbation to the effort, by convicting two 
souls." This was making the leper leap to good pur- 
pose, and showed his grace if not his learning. 

He could administer a rebuke sharply and brightly 
at the beginning, as well as at the end of his career ; 
of which this incident is proof. One hot day, while 
he was preaching, and waxing warm with his subject, 
his earnestness excited the mirth of some present. 
Taylor noticed it in a moment, and uttered these 
words of reproof : " Laugh if you will, if you dare, 
but remember that the time is coming when you 
will be glad of a single drop of the sweat now run- 
ning down my back to cool your parched tongues." 

He kept up his peddling and preaching-itinerancy 



TO THE OIRCCJIT. 61 

for four or five years. We find him once way up in 
Vermont. The venerable Rev. B. R. Hoyt, the old- 
est Methodist minister in New England, thus describes 
him. b\en before his Saugus sun had arisen : — 

" My first introduction to him occurred in the pub- 
lic highway, in the town of Vershire, Vt., in 1814. 
One Saturday, just before dark, as I was riding along 
to meet my engagement to preach in that town the 
next day, I met two young men in a wagon. One of 
them saluted me with the following question : 'Aren't 
you one of the servants of the Most High God ? ' I 
replied, ' I try to preach the gospel.' He then intro- 
duced himself and companion, whose name was Wine, 
I think, and stated that they were two ' Metliodist boys, 
up here in the country, trying to sell a few knick- 
knacks from the store in Boston.' I pointed gut to 
them the house of a friend where I thought they 
could get kept till Monday, and invited them to attend 
church the next day. 

" They were at church on Sunday ; and, after I had 
closed my sermon, I invited Brotlier Taylor to speak. 
Hf complied, as he did with my invitation to speak 
after the second sermon. His addresses were charac- 
terized by great power of thought and expressior , 
but clothed in homely and illiterate language. Tlie 
people had no difficulty then, as thej' had none in 
aftnr years, in understanding him. He made the fire 
fiy. He and his companion sang- and shouted ; the 
people shouted ; a:nd one person, overcome by the ex- 
citement, fell to the floor." 

He found other friends, not the least, or the least 



G2 FATHEK TAYLOK. 

beloved, of whom was Rev. George Pickering, one of 
the wisest and wittiest of his age. He saw the power 
tliat hxy ill the hid, and hastened to develop it. 

" When E. T. Taylor first came to our house " s.iid 
Mrs. Pickering, " he was buying up old junk. He had 
on a tarpaulin hat and a sailor dress. He would then 
deliver the most wonderful and unique exliortations 
ever heard, and, if he failed to know a word, would 
manufacture one admirably suited to the necessity." 

George Pickering introduced him to yet another dis- 
cerner of spirits. This time, not the poor wise shoe- 
maker, or the poorer if not wiser preacher, but the 
rich and enterprising man of affairs, was the detective. 
Amos Binne}' has the proud distinction, among New- 
England Methodist laymen, that Dr. Fisk has among 
its clergymen. He was the first man of wealth and 
position that actively identified himself with this poor 
and jsersecuted people. ' He was the beginning of a 
long and large succession of men of means who have 
contributed freely to the development of her interests. 
He erected, almost alone, the church at East Cam- 
bridge, which, for half of a generation, in costliness 
and beauty bore the palm among those of liis own or- 
der. This was built at a place which his force of char- 
acter had made the court end of an aristocratic town, 
and changed from a muddy point to a populous and 
valuable centre. He helped the struggling school at 
Newmarket, the first successful venture of liis church 
in education, if that can be called a success which 
required a transfer to another locahty before it could 
be firmly established. His name is retained iu the 



TO THE CIECUIT. 63 

memories of the Wilbraham scbool in a handsome hall 
for recitations -and laboratory. His son's monument 
at Mount Auburn, the most beautiful in that ground, 
bears testimony to his inherited taste and faith, though 
the form of that faith's expression was not after the 
fashion of the father's. 

Mr. Binney heard young Taylor, and saw that he 
had great capacities, but that they sorely needed 
training. He therefore took him from the cart and the 
plough, and, in the spring of 1817, sent him to New- 
market Seminary. This was the only Methodist 
school in America ; its principal. Rev. Martin Ruter, 
was almost the only Methodist preacher of any scho- 
lastic culture. Of the master, pupil, and school. Rev. 
Dr. Charles Adams thus speaks : — 

" I still remember the 'first tinklings of its bell,, 
sending its notes across the river, and sprinkling them 
afar over that beautiful land of farms called Stratham. 
It must have been a scene when that rough, untutored 
sailor came into the presence of the mild and placid 
Ruter, the principal of the academy. Perhaps Meth- 
odism never gathered into its ministry a greater con- 
trast of men than those same two. Both eloquent: 
the eloquence of the principal serene and even as the 
murmurings of some sweet rivulet in its meanderings 
through gardens of beauty, or as when soft summer 
breezes play over sunny seas ; the eloquence of the 
pupil, though sometimes gentle and winning as the 
music of lovers' lutes, yet more often rushing, tumul- 
tuous, and stormy, — the furious sweep of rapids, or 
the roar and lashing of the ocean when storms are on 



64 FATHER TAYLOR. 

the deep. He did not content himself with ponder- 
ing over his lessons, but found his w;iy into school- 
houses and dwellings, here and there, and rallied 
crowds within the infinonce of his unique and stormy 
eloquence. Whole neighborhoods would resound with 
his strong bugle-notes, as if a whirlwind were driving 
across the landscape." 

The fiery lad did not long enjoy the privileges of 
his school. He was too old to endure the mortifica- 
tion of entering the juvenile classes, and too ignorant 
to enter those more advanced. He attempted the lat- 
ter. With characteristic courage and zeal he applied 
himself to the higher l)ranches of English study. Ho 
essayed chemistry, astronomy, philosophy, when he 
should have been content with grammar. He spent 
his days and nights toiling at his books. Ho was 
unwearied and unresting. But he found the task 
burdensome. His vehement nature fretted at the diffi- 
culties. His church kept calling upon him for Sun- 
day and week-evening services. His student passion 
was offset by his pulpit [)assiou. • The presiding elders 
saw how heavily the work pressed, and cried loudly 
for help. He saw where both duty and glory awaited 
him, abandoned liis school after six weeks of stud\-, 
and entered on his life-work. 

Yet in that short time he made his mark. He was 
a smart debater, and very severe on his opponents, 
both of which traits he never entiiely overcome. He 
also dehvered the valedictory ; and those yet live who 
describe his look and step as he marched to this vic- 
toiy. Had he staid, or had he been content to grow 



TO THE CIRCUIT. 65 

by littles in knowledge, he might have become far 
greater than he was. He would certainly have been 
more uniform, bub perhaps, after all, no more wonder- 
ful. The sayings of the greatest men are not many ; 
the period of their reign is not long. This untrained 
nature flew as high as the highest, and remained aloft 
as long, while his very lack gave him to many and to 
his best hearers, the more abundant fascination. 

A few 3'ears before his death, he visited Newmarket, 
and searched among the wrinkled faces for the school- 
mates of his earlier years. School, building, students, 
were changed or gone. The boarding-house re- 
mained, but the academy had degenerated to a dwell- 
ing-house. Here and there a venerable dame declared 
herself to be the girl of that elder date upon whom he 
had smiled propitiously, and lavished the wealth of 
bis ornate compliments and biting fun. He protested, 
in like grimace of age, against these declarations, de- 
clared they could not be the comely girls that had so 
enchanted him, and, in recognition of both youth and 
age, accepted the fate against which he was protesting. 

His elder sent him to Marblehead, a place of rough 
sailors, and with a feeble, distracted church, which his 
fitness as a sailor, orator, and manager might reduce 
to order and give success. 

Here, too, he met his fate ; he began his double-life, 
private and public, at the same time and place. Be- 
fore we go with him on that public career, let us look 
on the third of his rare endowments. To his genius 
and his faith, the Giver of every good and perfect 
gift added one that guided and stimulated both his 



66 FATHER TAYLOR. 

genius, and grace ; that crowned his youth and age 
with serenity and strength ; that made him the hap- 
piest as he was abeady the most popular of his 
associates. Unlike many men of genius, Father Tay- 
lor found a helpmeet for him. He began his life in 
1819, with a wide circuit and a wise Avife. 

He had formed her acquaintance in Saugus. The 
factories, stores, and schools, by which modern j-oung 
ladies of character and not of competence earn their 
own livelihood, were in those days confined to the 
very narrow limit of doing housework for their 
neighbors, or binding shoes in the little shoe-towns 
that here and there were springing up over the poor 
Commonwealth. " Hannah binding shoes " was not 
a spectacle confined to Beverly alone,, but was visible 
all along the coast, through Lynn, Saugus, and Mai- 
den, as well as south of Boston ; not the hapless Han- 
nah, looking for a lover that returned not, but the 
happy ones whose lovers were near them, or who had 
been translated from the hoping to the fruition, and 
were singing, and binding shoes, and rocking cradles, 
all at once. 

The industrious maidens then went to the towns 
where the business opportunity drew them, as they 
now go to the cities where factories and stores abound. 
Two were thus led from Marblehead to Saugus, 
stately, comely, pious, — the one converted a j'ear 
before the sailor-preacher, the other a year after. 
Deborah and Mehitalale were then New-England and 
Scriptural names, or " Debby " and " Hitty," as they 
were then softened to, — " Debbie " and " Hittie," as 



TO THE ClfiCUIT. G7 

they .would now become. These met the famous boy 
at his favorite home, good Solomon Brown's, and were 
fascinated alike by his eloquence, faith, and features ; 
for the lad was " fair to see." That intimacy in due 
time, in the heart of the elder, ripened into love ; and 
when he was sent to her owti ti ■ \m to save a sinking 
church, he met his fair Inends of Saugus in their 
home, and found his fate. 



HTS Wmiu. 

He Finds a Jewel. — Her Appearance, Character, Capacity. — Her Hoosehuio 
Faculty. — A Helpmeet for her Husband's Improvidence. — Her Early 
Drawings to Christ. — Difficulties in the Way, from the Calvinistac Teach- 
ings of the Day. — Hears Epaphras Kibby, George Pickering, and Enoch 
Mudge. — When Fourteen Years old la converted at a Prayer-meeting. — Is 
rebuked for her Joyful Confidence. — Her Sister is converted. — They pray 
for their Brother. — E. T. Taylor is sent to Marblehead. — Her Brother ia 
converted. — Her Growing Experience in Grace. — Her View of the Dig- 
nity and Duty of a Preacher's Wife. — Marriage. 

V 

AS a novel would be void of its focal point if its 
heroine were omitted, so this " story of a life 
from year to year " would be without symmetry or 
soul if its heroine were omitted. In his advanced 
age Father Taylor, being at Nahant, looked across 
the bay to where Marblehead thrusts " its ponderous 
and marble jaws " into the vasty deep, and said to a 
friend beside him, " There I found a jewel." And so 
he did. If ever wife was a crown to her husband, his 
was to him, — a crown-jewel of rarest water, finish, 
and setting. She was a woman of uncommon beauty, 
and no less uncommon character. 

One who knew her best next to him who knew liel 
altogether, thus portrays her appearance and cliar 
acter : — 

88 



HIS Avii'K. G9 

"Deborah D. Millett was born in Marbleheud, 
March 13, 1797. Her parents were not wealthy ; and 
this enabled the daughter, through the discipline and 
necessity of self-action and self-reliance, to bring to 
fulness hsr native nobility of character. 

" Her life was never a common one. From her 
earliest childhood the desire to do and be was the 
motive-power. To be a Christian was her purpose 
almost from her babyhood ; not merely to profess to 
be one. She took in all the weight and glory of 
the responsibility of daughtership to the heavenly 
Father whom she loved, and heirship to the heaven- 
ly home in which she believed. 

"In her own record of her early life, she says, 'I 
sought first the kingdom of heaven, and then claimed 
the promise that all else should be added.' 

" She was a little above medium height, slight in 
figure, with large, soft black eyes, through which her 
soul looked out, a mouth of strength, purpose, and 
sweetness. Her attractive features were crowned 
with luxuriant dark hair, which fell in natural curls, 
or would have done so had it been allowed, and which 
' waved ' about her face, in spite of careful smoothing 
and tucking away under the little Quaker-Methodist 
bonnet which was worn in the early days of Meth- 
odism. 

" lier quiet lUgnity of manner could not be sui-- 
passed. A stranger , might call her haughty. She 
was not so in heart: but the something which guard- 
ed lier, or rather the herself, which was a visible 
ii'mosphprp, demanded and cnnimandod r^ppect and 



70 FATHER TAYLOR. 

reverence from all who met her ; and, as acquaintance 
ripened into love, love softened the extreme dignity 
into deeper admiration, and faller appreciation of her 
marvellous womanhood. 

" Her talents were of high order. An executive 
business ability would have placed her in the front 
ranks of mercantile life, could it have had full play. 
All her married life she managed her husband's 
l)usin ess matters, — receiving and expending his sal- 
ary, taking charge of every thing, even relieving him 
of the responsibility of buying his own clothing.- He 
used to enter the room where she would be, and 
playfully holding out his empty hand would say, 
' Wife, a little pocket-lining, if you please.' To her 
inquiry, ' Where is the five or ten dollars I gave you 
last week,' his answer would be, ' I met poor Brother 
So-and-so, and he told me his wife was sick,' or ' I 
saw a poor sailor-boy, and he was hungry ; ' always 
some good reason for money gone. It would have 
been no money a very few days after quarterly- 
payment time, but for the wife whom God gave 
him. 

" One morning he said, ' Wife, I have invited some; 
brethren to dine with me to-day ; ' and thereupon Mrs. 
U'aylor did what she very seldom ventured to do, 
trusted her husband to remember a household care, 
and, giving him some money, asked hiid to go directly 
to Faneuil-Eall Market, to make a necessary purchase ■ 
for the day's, dinner, and the needs of the expected 
■brethren, urging lam to return immediately and to 
remember he ' had the last ten dollars.' He promised, 



HIS WIFE, 71 

and started off: she waited, and waited, until it 
grew so near the dinner-hour her woman's wit had 
to supply something that did not come from Faaeuil- 
Hall Market. The guests arrived ; and, at the last 
moment before serving the dinner, he madi) his ap- 
pearance, and to his wife's inquiries as to where the 
dinner was which he was sent to get, with a look of 
perfect wonder and fresh recollection, he answered, 

' Oh, I forgot all about it ! I met Brother , just 

out here in Ann Street, almost at the foot of the 
square ; and he told me he was burned out last night, 
with his wife and little children, and' they lost every 
thing ; and I was glad I had ten dollars to give him : 
1 never once remembered what you said to me, or 
what you wanted. Never mind about the dinner : 
when I invited the brethren, I told them to come 
down to-day at one o'clock ; and if I had any thing 
they should have half of it, and if I had nothing they 
should have half of that.'' 

" Mrs. Taylor, in becoming the wife of a minister, 
made her -husband's work her first duty, and gave 
her whole time and thought to being herself a joint 
minister and worker' for the people, and, with the 
added duties of wife and mother, complete her life- 
circle. She was a person of exquisite tastes. She 
would have enjoyed society and all that culture could 
give, but from- her professing religion she accepted 
duty and work as her portion; and she feared that 
an indulgence in ' society ' might interfere in some 
way with the path~which she had marked out for her- 
self. She would not, therefore, allow temptation to 



72 FATHER TAYLOU. 

come noar her. If at times she felt any social want, 
it was but for a moment. Labor for and with her 
husband's people was her pleasure. When, after his 
coming to Boston to preach to seamen, she adopted 
the ' sons of the ocean ' as her sons, her fidelity was 
ceaseless. Never did she forget them in the meet- 
ings or at home : they were her accepted burden. A 
sailor-boy sitting before her in meeting was away from 
home, away from his mother, his wife, his sister, amid 
temptations ; and ' woe,' ' woe ' was on her, if she 
preached not to him the glorious gospel of her Lord 
and Master ! 

" She was never deterred from speaking when she 
felt her Saviour gave her a message to deliver. She 
uttered it, whether in the private class-room, where 
the privileged few met to note progress and to help 
each other, or in the vestry-meeting with its larger 
audience, or the church itself witii its packed seats. 
When she arose, the dignity and gentleness of her 
manner, the pathos of her rich, full voice, soft yet 
distinct, the tenderness of intonation, the lavishness 
of loving persuasion, the ixiothevhood of her soul put 
into language, choice, strong, and full of the power 
of beauty, was music as of heaven, with a ' Thus saith 
tie Lord ' added. 

" She always held an audience : nay, more than 
lield, — she moved them as she moved ; and those who 
listened felt she uttered words, wlietherin exhortation 
or prayer, as ' one having authority.' ' The Rev. Mrs. 
L. T. Taylor' was hers by right of earning." 

Slie left quite a journal, from which we can best 



HIS WUfE. 73 

learn the beginnings and growth of her life, charac- 
ter, and work : — 

" Earlv in life I felt the strivings of the good Spirit. The first I re- 
member was a desire to be good, and my resolutious were formed to be 
a Christian when I grew old enough. I thought old people must be 
gaoil, so I loved them dearly, — would watch in the street an elderly per- 
son called a Christian, as long as I could see them, and hope to be like 
them when I grew old. 

"My dear mother 'obtained a hope' in about her twentieth year. 
' Once in grace, always ia grace,' was her motto. She felt she was one of 
the ' elect ; ' and whom the Lord would, he saved, and whom he would not, 
ae cast away. My mother was an excellent woman, strong-minded, of 
deep trials ; and I have no doubt her belief saved her ; for had she thought 
she could have lost her ' hope,' she would have sunk in despair. I heard 
much of the doctrine, ' We could do nothing of ourselves, but the elect 
would be saved.' I thank my heavenly Father that in those days of 
darkness, his Spirit was on my path, and taught me if I tried to be a 
Christian the Lord was willing I should be : so before I knew what to 
understand by the doctrine of ' election ' or ' reprobation,' his blessed 
Spirit had taught me, ' Whoso cometh unto me I will in no wise cast 
out.' 

" I was insti-ucted to read my Bible, to say my prayers, learn my 
catechism, to bo very good on Saturday night, and sabbath-day. When 
we did wrong on the sabbath (for there were a number of little children), 
we knew what to expect, — a lecture and correction on Monday morning. 
I well remember when we knew we had been naughty on the sabbath, 
begging in vain to be punished on sabbath" evening, that we might not 
have it to think of; for it was never forgotten either by mother or cliil- 
dren. 

" All these years conviction followed me. I knew not what to do : I 
had never heard the voice of prayer, except from a minister ; and the 
sound of ' knowing our sins forgiven ' would have been the height of 
boasting. I would often try to be good, one day at a time ; and when 
night came I would think I had done so many wrong things it was in 
vain to strive ; yet, as I did not want to be wicked, I continued to try. 
^Vhen at play with the children, and one would wish for beauty, and 
another lor long life, I would wish I might be good, and go to heaven. 
" The trouble was, I did not know how to be good. My mother used 



74 _ FATREH TAYLOK. 

ro talk to her children, for she had nine boys and girls to lead along ; but 
she never prayed with us, — she did not think a woman's voice shotild be 
i.eard in prayer. My father was not a ' professor : ' therefore we had no 
family worship. 

■' ily desire to be a Christian increased with my years. At this time 
a young minister, Epaphras Kibby, was sent to Marblehead. I never 
spoke to him or heard him preach. I was awed by his stately stc]), 
knew' he was called ' a Methodist,' but I thought liim an angel. I well 
remember with what reverence my eyes followed him as he visited a very 
good woman, ' Sister Goss,' as she was called in ridicule, because being 
I Methodist made her very foolish in the eyes of her neighbors. 

" I was a Mutiiodist in sentiment before I knew tlieir doctruies. My 
cliildish faith that said, ' God will be willing to save me when I am old 
enough,' kept me a little seeker. I believe I could as well have boon led 
to Jesus when I was eight years old, as when I was fourteen, had some 
one taken me by the hand, and taught me in the way of salvation by 
faith. ... 

" The Methodists at this time had preached in Marblehead occasion- 
ally, in the midst of opposition ; and my relatives, with others, consid- 
ered them a set of ' renegades,' to use their own language, who had norh- 
iug-else to do but run about, break up all established parishes, and set 
the people into confusion. My mother used once in a while to hear 
the youthful George Pickering, — dear Father Pickering, now in heaven, 
— and was much pleased. She little dreamed the result that followed. 

" Wlien about twelve years old, I heard the Rev. Enoch Mudge. I 
cannot remember how I came to be in the Methodist church in the even- 
ing, but so by the providence of God I was. He took for his text, 'It 
is time to seek the Lord.' 

" The countenance of the good man ma-de a deeper impression on my 
mind than the words he uttered. I knew not his name : I only fell in 
love with his heavenly face, and canie to the determination, if religion 
made the man so happy, I would never rest until I found it. My reso- 
lutions were never wholly erased. I commenced praying, but my course 
was zigzag. There was no one to take me by the hand, and to 'lend 
. me to the Rock that was higher than I.' 

"I was a proud, obstinate, high-tempered child ; and if I had been 
blessed,' as some say, with plenty of this world's goods, it would haTO 
,con a curse, and I should not have been saved." 

The journal is a record of two years of ao'ony. 



HIS WIFE. 7.') 

iloubting, despairing, striving, and praying, but al) 
for nought until, — 

" On Thanksgiving Day, Nov. 30, 1810, When I was fourteen 
years of age, my Father took me up and called me his child. Blessed 
be. his holy name ! A friend called for me on this day to go to 
a prayer-meeting in a priyate house. I went with a look and feeling of 
despair. At the meeting I wept aloud, and thought and felt that was 
my last day, — ^that I must be blest and blest there, or it would be too 
late. I lost my burden, and could not find it, but was not joyful. We 
left the house to hear preaching, then returned to the same house to 
.pray again. Here, I longed to shout forth the praises of God; for, 
while kneeling to pray, I heard the voice inwardly, ' Daughter, thy sins 
are forgiven thee.' I arose on my feet, and shouted ' Glory to God ! ' 
I thought I had reason to shout, and I walked round the room praising 
God. I suppose I was too noisy ; for one was about to check me, when 
an old Christian said, ' Let her alone, she won't feel so long.' Eather 
a damper for a inoment, but I Recovered the shock, and thought, ' No, 
I shall feel better.' I went home happy, entered my chamber, and took 
up Doddridge's ' Rise and Progress of Religion in the Soul.' Before 
this time I could never read further than where the soul was condemned. 
Now I opened to where news of pardon was brought to the condemned 
criminal. Every letter seemed lined with gold ; and I said, ' Glory to 
God! it is mine, it is mine ! ' I was almost afraid to sleep, for fear I 
should lose the peace and blessedness. I awoke in the morning rejoi- 
cing and happy. I went down stairs feeling I should never know sorrow 
any more. My friend, a Presbyterian lady, at whose house I was, met 
me, rather astonished, for I' had been a most gloomy little thing, and 
said, ' You feel better.' There was no mistalcing : my looks and actions 
all bespoke a changed child. I answered, ' Oh, my heavenly Pather 
aas blessed me, and forgiven my sins ! ' 

" She was a Christian, and I thought would rejoice ; but she turned 
.away, saying, 'You must not be too positive: there ii a flattering 
world, a tempting Devil, and a wicked heart,' and then left me. 

"I thought my wicked heart wad taken aWay. I was not tempted 
above what I was able to bear, joy soon filled my heart, and I went on 
my way rejoicing. True, I felt a little disappointed when I came to 
Icll others. I thought they would all believe me, and seek tbe same 
Sai iour ; but I found it not so easy to convince "them. For eight days 



76 FATHER TAYLOR. 

I rejoiced with joy unspeakable; then came temptations, that I might 
oe deceived. I ran away to my hiding-plaee, threw myself upon ray 
knees, and, with bitter tears, cried out, 'Lord, thoa khowest I do not 
want to be a bypourito; I want to be a Christian.' The Comforter 
eamc, and I was again blest. But how little I knew about trusting 
the Lord. I wanted all sight. "When I felt happy, it was ail well; 
when I felt otherwise, I feared I had no religion. I soon learned the 
work was only begun, not ended. Oh, how kindly my Father dealt 
with mo! Blessed be his name, who. gave his Son to die for me, for 
me ! Oh, wondrous - knowledge, deep and high ! Keep me, Saviour, 
near thy side. 

" After two years, a sister two years younger was converted, and 
joined. the Methodist Chm-ch with me; and together we walked and 
worked amid trials, and contending with them, not a few. 

" One of our great trials was, that as Methodists wo were very poor, 
and on this account were obliged, in the year 1817, to refuse a preacher 
from conference, and depend upon a teacher of a public school. The 
house in which we worshipped was little better than a bam, and wo had 
no prospect of any other. 

" We had one only dear brother. He opposed the Methodists. Indeed, 
there was nothing to invite him among them ; yet my sister and I felt 
wo must have him. We wanted him with us. We wanted his house 
for the preachers, and his bam for their horses. We prayed for him 
through the winter, as though there was not another individual in the 
town who needed conversion. Both had the same struggle of soul, yet 
OTie knew not the other's exercises. Through the long winter it was the 
burden of our souls, ' Lord ! give us our brother.' 

" The spring opened upon us (1818) ; and dear old Father Pickering, 
our presiding elder, sent Edward T. Taylor to preach thi-ee months in 
Marblehead. We knew not what to do with him, as there was no place 
even where he could board. My sister and myself were a little aerjuain ted 
with him ; and we told our brother, Joseph Millett, ' that a sailor was to 
preach.' He had been a sailor in liis younger days, and was once on a 
wreck for three days and nights. It was an attraction to hear a sailor ; 
a:id Joseph said, 'I will go and hear him.' Ho went, taking some com- 
rades with him, and the word was sent home with power. He in- 
vited *he preacher to his house. This was on a Wednesday. He was 
aot a man to do things by the halves. Ho made up his miud to be a 
Christian ; and on Friday evening he went to class-meeting, rose up and 
eaid, 'I have come here a condemned criminal, and ray only plea is, 



HIS WIFE. 77 

" God be merciful to me, a sinner." ' Gqd was merciful ; he w as saved 
truly saved. He went home fi'om the meeting, called his farailv together 
and erected his family altar, which always stood firm. 

" My sister resided in his /amily. She was mit;hty in prayer ; and 
alter he prayed she broke forth, and the power of the Lord was present 
to awaken other members of the family. This was a glorious day to ua 
in answer to prayer. 

"The different denominations preached to the 'town's poor' on 
sabbath evening ; and, as this was the Methodists' ' turn,' my brother 
invited Jlr. Taylor to take tea at his house, as it was convenient to tlie 
place of meeting. When my sister-in-law, who had never seen Mr. 
Taylor, knew that he was coming to take tea in her home, she said to 
me afterwards, 'If I had been told the very evil one was coming, I 
could not have felt worse ; ' but as she lived through it, and was not 
harmed, she concluded to go to the evening meeting. The power and 
glory of God was displayed as I never saw it before. My sister-in-law 
cried aloud for mercy, and there was a general weeping and shaking all 
over the place. A number of my brother's household embraced religion, 
and the labors of Mr. Taylor were blessed to the conversion of souls. 

" My brother began to labor immediately in the cause of his Master , 
and as he was a man of business, and a man of character without religion, 
his acquaintances said, if Mr. Miilett has religion, there is something in 
It ; and God blessed the word, as he preached of this Jesus. It was 
calculated that thirty business men were the result of this revival. Now 
we exclaimed, ' Praise the Lord, our eyes have seen thy salvation ! ' 

" Oui- brother offered to take the preacher and give him three months' 
board, while the society could he collecting something for the future. 
He was ' class-leader ' and ' steward.' His spiritual birth was into full 
manhood, and he was powerful in prayer. From this time persecution 
was at an end. We had nothing to do but to serve our hoavauly Father, 
and go on our way rejoicing. Glory to God in the highest. Ameu. 

" I had a natural missionary turn, if I may use the expression, and 
cotild not live without labor. I saw no reason why a woman should 
not speak and pray in prayer-meetings as well as a man. I would 
often look at a minister's wife, and think how great her privileges wore. 
She was expected to labor, and was received as a laborer. Her posi 
tion was such that sl^e could be as useful as her husband. My love of 
work in my Father's cause made me feel, that, if ever I was a wife, I 
would prefer a travelling minister to any other being on earth, rimu 



78 FATHEE TAYLOK. 

passed, and an opportunity offered itself. I dared not refuse, but sought 
the Lord in earnest prayer to know of his will and wishes. I believed a 
minister's wife should feel herself as much called of God to fill such a 
station as her husband should be to preach the gospel. In answer to 
inquiries, I felt it my duty to accept." 

An extract from the daily journal which was kept 
at this time will show her earnestness of heart and 
purpose. 

"June 27, 1818. — Have this day, after much consideration, answered 
an important and interesting question in the affirmative. Yes : I have 
engaged to leave my native place and relatives to wander e'er creation 
with an ambassador of the Most High God. In doing this, I feel I am 
devoting myself anew to the service of my blessed Lord and Master. It 
is true I have looked at the subject and trembled ; but when I consider 
my responsibility to God for the improvement of my precious time and 
talents, and likewise my strong inclination for travelling ever since I 
knew from heartfelt experience that God has power on earth to pardon 
sin, I think, after much prayer, that God will direct in such a manner 
as to glorify himself. From a sense of duty as well as inclination, I 
have given myself into the hands of my dear friend. 

" Oh that Heaven would smile propitiously on both, and make ua 
helpmates indeed ! May we advance each other's spiritual progress, 
promote piety everywhere we are called to labor, glorify our God on 
earth, and at last be brought to praise him in heaven. Amen, and 
amen \" 

"May H, 1819. — My health has been very poor oblate, and my 
friends think me consumptive; indeed, I think so. myself; but the will 
of the Lord be done. If I could live longer and be useful, I should be 
willing, but from no other-inducement. 

" Sometimes the adversary tells me, if I should be sick a great while, 
I shall grow fretful and impatient ; but I can trust the blessed Lord, and 
fiud his promises very sweet, that his grace is sufficient for me; and 'as 
my day is, so shall my strength be.' " 

June, 13. — My health is improving apparently very fast. I ex- 
pected to have arrived at my Father's house before this time. Blessed 
be my Lord, he has visited me with his cheering presence in my sick- 
ness; and, when death stared me in the face, I was unspeakably happy, 



MIS WIKK. 79 

and could rejoice in tho God of my salvation. Oh, how sweet religion 
is ! In health and prosperity we know not how to prize it. How i was 
led to pity those who procrastinate repentance, and refuse to have my 
blessed Lord and Master to reign over them ! It appeared to me if I lini) 
<ill tho unconverted world before me I would persuade them, and they 
would bo constrained to embrace religion, when they saw its ble<sod 
effects on a dying-bed. Glory to my God ! Ire was indeed wiih me, and 
assured me all was mine. Oh that, if restored to health, I may more 
unreservedly dedicate my ransomed and preserved powers to his blessed 
service ! Thine, O my Lord ! I would be in time and in eternity. Oh, 
make me a fit temple for thee to dwell in constantly, that in every 
thought, word, and action I may glorify thee, preach Christ to a dying 
world, and evince to all around there is a divine reality in that religion 
which I profess I Amen, and amen ! " 

"July 2, 1819. — This day I had been reading the life of that pre- 
cious woman, Mrs. Fletcher. How was my soul humbled before God, 
and what an ardent desire did I'feel to enjoy that spirituality of heart 
which actuated hor in every movement to glorify her God, and prove 
beneficial to.precious, immortal souls ! 

" In a short time, if my life and health are spared, I shall be called to 
move in a larger sphere. I shall either be a help or hinderance to one of 
the servants of the Lord. Oh that I may take those precious womeuj 
Mrs. Fletcher and Mrs. Rogers, for examples! for though dead they 
yet speak. I have read them with prayers and tears and a great de- 
sire to imitate. my blessed Lord ! I feel that my strength is nothing ; 
but thou hast said thy grace is suiKcient, and in thy strength I can do 
all things. my dear Saviour ! if our union proceed not from thee, 
frustrate all our concerted schemes, however dear we are to each other; 
let none of them succeed, unless thy glory will be promoted, and our 
own. souls, with the souls of others, be truly benefited. 

" A letter fi-om my deaf friend convinces me that he suffers much on 
my account, as respects my health, as my consumptive complaints are 
not all removed. O my Father ! resign him to thy blessed will, that 
living or dying, he and I may be thine." 

"Oct. 12, 1819. — This day the most important event in human 
life was ratified. This day I was married to Mr. Edward T. Taylor 
My heart is indeed his. Oh for all that grace which I need to help 
him in his proper place, that nothing may prove the rival of my blesitd 
Lord! 

" I am at present on Scituate circuit, where my dear husband labored 



^y FATHER TAYLOE. 

a part of two years ; and, bless the Lord, ho has not labored in vain. A 
large number of precious souls have, wo trust, been brought to a Icnowl- 
e-.lge of the truth. Here is, indeed, a door opened to distribute religions 
liuowlod'^e. Oh that my dear Lord would make mo an instrument of 
f>ood to this people ! Unworthy and inadequate as I am, yet, blessed be 
his dear name ! in exhorting and praying with the people I do have some 
bli.'ssed seasons. The prospect Is still- very pleasing ; the congregations 
are large and attentive, and we expect better days j'et. O my 
Father, display thy jjowor ! Engage our hearts afresh in thy blessed 
cause, and may we count not our own lives dear for thy sake ! 

" Mr. Taylor's health is quite poor : my own is not much better. 
Oh that it may be a stimulus to improve every moment of our time to 
the glory of Grod and the good of souls ! my Saviour ! assist us to 
hold up each other's hands, and to be helpmates indeed, and to devote 
all we have and are to thy service." 

From these experiences, so frankly uttered, one can 
discern something of the sweet, devout, strong soul 
that inhabited that comely form. We shall find her 
memorabilia scattered along the subsequent pages 
and her influence steadUy possessing her home and 
husband. If ever, then, there was 

" A perfect woman, nobly planned 
To warn, to comfort, to command," 

that woman was Deborah Millett Taylor. 

We cannot better close this chapter than by letting 
her sum up her life-work, thus so happily commenced. 
In the journal of 1865, when seventy years old, we 
find this record of almost unsurpassed fidelity and 
devotion to duty and labor : — 

" In the year 1819, Oct. 12, 1 became the wife of E. T. Taylor, of the 
New-England Conference; and, after almost forty-six years' experience, 



HIS WIFE. SI 

hid I a life to live over, I would be the wife of an itinerant, with al) 
its joys and sorrows. I have always found my bread given mo and my 
water sure. When onr labora were blessed in the salvation of souls, it 
was all I asked : I never feared but wo should have enough of cai-th. I 
sought firet the kingdom of God, claimed the' promise, and realized tlio 
fulfilment, ' all things else shall be added.' For nine years we moved every 
year. We had what were termed ' hard stations ; ' and it was said by 
thoie who preceded us, ' You will never get your bread.' When we had 
little, wo ] lad no lack ; and when much, nothing over. True, the 
preachers and their wives now know nothing about what was endured 
in those days. I rejoice that I lived in them, when the preachers 
preached because ' woe is me if I preach not the gospel ; ' and the peo- 
ple heard as for eternity, and to tho salvation of their souls." 

An amusing incident, said to have been connected 
with his -wedding, is not put in this journal ; but it 
illustrates a trait in his character so happily that it 
deserves insertion. On a charming autumn day, lie 
climbed a hill in Hingham that overlooked the se:i, 
and, throwing himself on the ground, ^ghed his soul 
away to the far-off bluffs of Marblehead, just visible 
some twenty miles across Massachusetts Bay. As he 
was thus pining for the sight of his beloved, and 
longing for that wedding-day to come wliich was so 
rapidly drawing, near, when she should be all his own, 
he suddenly bethought him that this was the very day. 
He had utterly forgotten it. Too late to fly across 
or around the gulf that separated him from his bride, 
he had to let her wonder why he did not come, and 
learn perhaps her first, but not her last, lesson concei n- 
uig his absent-mindedness. It was a new version of 
Gilpin's experience, when he was compelled like John 
in shame to say, — 
6 



82 FATHER TAYLOR. 

" It is my wedding-day ; 

And all the world will stare 

If wife should dine at Edmonton, 

And I should dine at Ware." 

It had to stare, — all the Marblehead world at least, 
for forty miles separated them, and not for a day cer- 
tainly, could she learn why he was absent. "When he 
arrived, we may imagine the merry scolding he got 
from the vexed maiden, who did not like — proud 
and sensitive as all maidens are as to that hour — 
to have her associates jnake merry over such a catas- 
trophe. It was all right at last ; and on that pleasant 
October day. Miss Deborah Millett became for time, 
and as she felt forever, Mrs. Edward T. Taylor. 



vr. 

TO BOSTON. 



Ten Years on the Circuits. — His Admission to Conference. — The Jlen lie me! 
there. — His First Circuit from near Boston to Plymouth. — His I'ersecu- 
tiims. — Southern" Saddle-Baggers " the original of Northern •■ Carpet-Bag- 
gers."— How Lorenzo Dow silenced the "Sons of Belial."- His l-lome 
at Pembroke. — Rev. Dr. Ailyn's Ketort. —A Visit' to Duxbui-y Twenty 
Years afierward. — His Zeal for his Church eats up his Courtesy. — Inci- 
dents in and about Barnstable.— Prays for Ministers who did not pray for 
him. — Beats the Devil. — Lets an Orthodox Opponent get the Advan- 
tage of him. — Gets the Advantage of another by praying for him. — 
Power over the Sailors of Martha's Vineyard. — ** Every Hair hung with a 
Jewel." — "Salt I" "Salt I" — His Prayer done into Poetry. — Comes to 
Boston. 



FATHER TAYLOR was ten years reaching his 
harbor, after he launched his boat on the sea 
of hfe. He fetched a circuit, several of them, before 
he made the port of the Port Society. His first ante- 
conference mission, as we have seen, was to Marble- 
head. He found a place fitted for his talents among 
the sailors that frequented that rocky inlet then 
even more than they do now. He met those for whom 
lie was set apart from the beginning by inward draw- 
ing and by evident election. He remained with this 
people but few months ; with what effect has already 
been noticed in the journal of his wife, then " a fail 

83 



84 FATHER TAYLOK. 

young maiden, clothed with celestial grace, and ' 
beautiful with all the'heart's expansion," who had leit 
lier father's house and peculiar form of faith, and 
united herself with this "poor, despised companj-." 
He had seen her brother converted, and other men of 
moderate substance ; the church well on its feet ; and 
every thing as flourishing as could be made by a few 
months' labor, against such opposition as then pre- 
vailed everywhere. He joins conference. 

That tender hour, when the youthful minister 
stands before the bishop, with the grave and reverend 
elders behind him, is never forgotten in all his later 
years. The words addressed to him sink deep into 
his heart. He is as wax, warm beneath the seal. 
His nature moulds itself into the form and feeling of 
the event, and he is baptized into the same spirit 
with him who speaks and those who hear. The 
young sailor was not eligible to this influence directly, 
this year, as two years of trial must elapse before he 
is admitted to full connection, when these addresses 
are given and received. He, however, came into 
the body, and listened to the words planted- in others' 
hearts as though spoken directly to himself. He was 
with a small body gathered from great distances. 
The New-England Conference in 1819 was composed 
of a little over one hundred members and they were 
scattered over all the New-England States. 

Not a few of its leaders were from Virginia and. 
Pennsylvania. Pickering, their chief resident, was 
of this origin ; Lee, their greater visitant, was from 
Virgijiia. Elijah R. Sabin was another of those sad- 



TO BOSTON. 85 

cUe-baggers of the South sent for the redempiion 
of the North, even as Northern " carpet-baggers "were 
sent in this decade for the Southern regeneration. 
They were called, too, by that epithet as an oppro- 
brium, as our later brethren have been stigmatized witli 
the later title. Joshua Wells, another Marylander, 
planted this gospel in New England. So did Dr. 
Thomas F. Sargent, father of the present eminent 
minister of the same name. Ezekiel Cooper of Penn- 
sylvania was another of these far-off friends, who 
made our barren soil blossom with this new life. 

But New England was beginning to grow men of its 
own. John Broadhead was drawing all men unto 
him in New Hampshire, and redeeming his church 
from obloquy by the political preferment with which 
he was honored, — a seat in Congress. Benjamin R. 
Hoyt was winning souls from the mountains to the 
sea, and had reached, this very year, the Boston ap- 
pointment on his ascending course. Joshua Soule 
was mastering Maine by his grand orations for Christ ; 
and on his march rapidly to the mastery of the 
church, being only four years later elected to its chief 
office by the votes of its Southern ministers, with 
whom he was always most popular, and to whom he 
ultimately and naturally subsided. Elijah lledding 
was keeping equal step with him in power, and in 
advance of him in local popularity. Asa Kent was 
aittracting audiences by his quaintness, and edifying 
them by his soundness of doctrine and simplicity of 
faith. Joshua. Crowell was sweetening souls with 
salvation. -Edward Hyde was a graceful and com- 



86 FATHER TAYLOR. 

manding pleader for Jesus. Joseph A. MerrJl was 
bending his large, practical mind to the removal of 
difficulties in the way of the progress of the church, 
especially in edacational directions. Laban Clark and 
Nathan Bangs were impressing it with their force 
of character and greater force of truth. Wilbur 
Fisk was illuminating it with the beaten oil of cul- 
ture, humility, zeal, and faith. Oliver Beale, Epaphras 
Kibbe, Daniel Webb ; Solomon Sias, the real founder 
of " Zion's Herald ; " Lewis Bates, the happy, witty, 
conquering preacher ; Lorenzo Dow, quaint and queer, 
but with all his oddities full of genius, faith, and fire, 
— these were some of the chief men New England 
had already raised up, for her own and the world's 
salvation. Into this glorious .company of the martyrs, 
who were dying daily in testimony of their Lord and 
Saviour, the young Virginian was admitted. 

He was sent to Scituate Circuit, which then com- 
prised all the towns between Dorchester and Dux- 
bury.* It stretched from the shores of Massachusetts 
Bay to those of Plymouth, and covered all the track 
travelled by the Eilgrims and Puritans in their early 
and infrequent intercourse. It was a stretch of^ 
country forty miles long, and barren exceedingly, so 
far as Methodism was concerned. Not a church did 
she own in all the territory. He went forth, not 
knowing whither he went ; but he went rejoicing. 
A. few kitchens had been opened to our preachers, 

* The following towns constituted tliis Circuit : Scituate, Hingham, Coiias. 
set, Uull, Hanover, Marsliiiold, Ouxbury, Plympton, Hanson, Pembroke, Wey. 
iiloutli, Quincy, and Doroliestcr. 



TO BOSTON. 87 

and a few schoolhouses. In these he preached with 
his rare ability, setting the whole region on fire with 
his flame. The schoolhouses were thronged, so were 
the kitchens. The Word mightily grew and prevailed, 
and the sailor-boy saw with delight the pleasure of 
the Lord prospering in his hands. 

Persecutions then raged on account of the Word, 
and many were offended. He was hooted at in the 
streets, and sometimes pelted with missiles. Rev. 
Dr. Upham says, that, when travelling the same cir- 
cuit, as a companion of E. T. Taylor, the boys and 
roughs ofHingham and Duxbury would yell after 
them. Once, being accompanied by Elijah Hedding, 
a dignified gentleman, through the former town, he 
thought they would reverence him. " But they came 
out at the usual place," he saj's, " men and boys, 
and began to shout ' Methodist preachers ! ' ' Sad- 
dle-bags!'" Mr. Hedding was not accustomed to 
such greetings, and wondered at them ; but the regu- 
lar preachers had become used to the insult, and almost 
enjoyed it.* 

Once one of these roughs threw a dead polecat into 
the room where the meeting was being held. He, 
however, met his match, and got his reward ; for 
Lorenzo Dow being that way, and announcing that 
he would preach, a great mob of the sons of Belial 
gathered to mock at him. He' began by saying, 
" There are three sorts of people who come to church : 
first, those who love the Word and wish to hear it, — 
they will behave themselves of course ; second, tliose 

* How Father Taylor cured this malady, may bo seen on page 91. 



8S FATHEri TAVr.OR. - 

who are gentlemanly if not pious, and they will behave 
properly ; and, lastly, those that are neither Christians 
nor gentlemen ; and, if any disturb this meeting, we 
shall know what sort of folks tliey are." This held 
them quiet for a time : but their evil spirit was irre- 
pressible ; 'and an outbreak occurring, despite this ])or- 
traiture, he, having learned the name of the author 

of the polecat nuisance, cried out, " Is Skunk 

here ? " calling him by name. He was present ; ana 
all ej-es were turned on the offending and offensive 
human animal, who writhed under the deserved cen- 
sure. The rough medicine did what no. milder treat- 
ment could have done : order followed this personal 
salutation ; and the fragrant sobriquet clung to him, 
like Naaman's leprosy to Gehazi, all his days. 

One home was his in all these wanderings, — Mr. 
Elias Magoon's of Pembroke. His comfortable 
barn comforted his weary horse, and his more com- 
fortable house its more weary master. He was 
cheered and encouraged on his journey ; though not 
much encouragement did he need, for he was full 
of spirits, of faith, of j'outh, of love. He was lifted 
up far above his previous calling and associations. 
He was a minister of the gospel, — a popular, crowd- 
drawing minister. He bounded like a roe over the 
hills of spices. 

In this extreme of poverty, when a few dollars and a 
few presents were all his portion, he married and took 
his wife to her wandering home. How happy they 
were in their work may be seen in this letter, sent to 
her sisters a few weeks after that event: — 



TO BOSTON. S9 

DUXBURY, Nov. 9, 1819. 

Mt DBAS Sisters, — Perhaps long before this thno you have ex 
pected a letter. Sometimes you may have thought I was siik, or clis 
satisfied with ray station, ar unhappy as respects many other things. 
But neither of these is the case, my dear sisters; nor have I forgotten 
you. New relations, with change of situation and acquaintances, have 
not the least tendency to alienate my affection from my friends in Mar- 

• blchead. But enough for an introduction. We arrived at Hingham 
the day after we left you, and from there proceeded round the circuit. 
The people please me much, and so far every thing exceeds my expecta- 
tions. My health has been better ; and I do not recollect the time when I 
was more satisfied and contented with my situation. Mr. Taylor is towards 
me every thing I can wish, — attentive and affectionate in every sense of 
the word. The prospect of a revival of religion is pleasing, particu- 
larly in Marshfield and Duxbury. We have excellent meetings and 
crowded congregations ; and I do not know but the people would stop 
all night, if the preacher would only talk to them. 

We have great cause to praise the Lord for his goodness. O my 
sisters I pray for us that we may see the work of the Lord prosper, and 
many souls brought to the knowledge of the truth. 

I want to see you all very much, and, if nothing prevents, shall be 
with you Thanksgiving week. You must write as soon as you receive 
this, and tell me how father and mother are. Tell mother she need 
not feel concerned : I am well provided for. We often talk abont you all, 
and very often, in imagination, see you, and hear you, particularly at 
meal-times, wondei"ing "where poor Debby is." Tell Martha I want to 
see hor, if she " don't care if Uncle Tayner keeps me till I die." Ee- 
membcrme to Brother Fillmore; tell him I do not want to "locate" yet.. 
I must conclude, as we start soon for our other appointments. 
Farewell, my dear sister: may the Lord bless you! How pleasing the 

. thought, that, notwithstanding miles and miles sepai-ate us, the same 
blessed Being presides over all. May we so live as to meet in heaven, 
where there will be no more parting, but where we shall enjoy each 
other, and the fruition of our God, through a long eternity ! As evei 
yjur affectionate sister, 

D. I). Taylob. 

Only a few incidents are recalled of his first circuit 
Preaching once from the text, " What have I done ' " 



90 jCATHER TAYLOR. 

he muttered over his text, " What — have — I — 
done ? " and, turning to the audience, thundered, 
" What ha'n't you done ? " 

At Duxbury the " standing order " had full pos- 
session of the town ; and their venerable and eccen- 
tric pastor. Dr. AUyn, was decidedly Socinian in his 
theological views. In all other respects, he was con- 
servative, and determined to stand in the old ways. 
This young intruder was looked upon with no favor. 
A series of dancing-parties was organized to prevent 
the spread of this new fanaticism, and Dr. Allyn at- 
tended them. But, even at these parties, young 
women would burst into tears and cries for the par- 
don of their sins ; and the aged clergyman, when 
called to comfort them, could only refer theni to 
"that young man, Taylor." 

His first greeting to the interloper was characteris- 
tic : " So, you've come to preach in Duxbury, young 
man ? " — " Yes : the Lord says, ' Preach the gospel 
to every creature.' " — " Yes ; but he never said that 
every critter should preach the gospel." 

The Hon. and Rev. G. W. Frost of Omaha com- 
municates these particulars of a ride over this earliest 
circuit with Father Taylor, after he had becomo of 
world-wide celebrity : — 

" More than a quarter of a century since, I remem- 
ber a trip, with Father Taylor and Rev. J. D. Bridge, 
to Duxbury, to attend a ministerial association. It 
was before the days of railroads ; and we drove in a 
private carriage through the coast towns which had 
been the scone of his former labors and triumphs. 



TO BOSTON. 91 

"He was in the best possible humor, and gave us many 
interesting reminiscences of the olden time. He re- 
membered every thing with almost startling minute- 
nessi — the rocks and trees, the harbors and inlets, 
and many of the public buildings and private resi- 
dences, with some anecdote or illustration or ludicrous 
remembrance, of his early work as the ' wild sailor 
preacher.' I recoUect his giving some fourteen Indian 
names of places where he had appointments to preach 
all along shore. He pointed to one quiet farm-house 
nestling among the trees, and said, ' Many years ago, 
when Methodism was young, and only known but to 
be ridiculed, I preached in that house. I had, in com- 
mon with other Methodist ministers,- been frequently 
insulted in passing the streets on horseback to my 
appointments, by the hooting of boys from behind 
the walls, barking at me like dogs ; various missiles 
were sometimes thrown, and I had concluded to stop 
it. The house was literally jammed, and crowds stood 
around the low open windows to hear the strange 
preacher. It was harvest-time. After the close of 
the services, I called the attention of the audience a 
moment to the proclamation of a Fast. They were 
surprised, as they thought it almost time for Thanks- 
giving : but I insisted, and told the brethren that 
they must pray as they never had prayed, and pray 
God to send a new recruit of dogs into Hingham; for 
the image of God had been prostituted long enougn 
to unholy' purposes in barking at God's ministers.' 
He added, ' I have had no better friends, nor more 
gentlemanly treatment, in my life, than I have received 
from this people for more than thirty years.' 



92 FATHER TAYLOR. 

" At Duxbury Father Taylor was at home. It was 
his ' old stampuig-groimd,' a great day for many of 
his companions in arms, who had now grown old, but 
wlio had labored long years before with him. lie 
met, besides, very many who were seals of his early 
ministry. He preached as he alone could preach. It 
was a torrent of poetry, philosophy, pathos, such as 
seldom fell from mortal lips. He referred to earl}' days, 
days of doubt and anxiety, and of the grand tri- 
umphs of the cause. He had a stock of pleasant rem- 
iniscences of the past ; and he talked to those gray- 
haired men and women, calling them ' his children,' 
until tears fell, and sobs were heard on every side ; 
iind, when he referred to their triumphs and to ' those 
who had gone before, such shouts and expressions of 
praise were heard as seldom fell from the lips of even , 
such servants of God as Fathers Chandler and Delano, 
of precious memory in that church. 

" Our visit was made at the time of the great anti- 
slavery excitement, when churches, and even good 
men, were divided on that all-absorbing question, so 
happily settled now. There had been secession there, 
headed by Hon. Seth Sprague, a stanch antislavery 
man, of great influence and ability. Excitement ran 
high, a new church had been built, and some excita- 
ble persons had gone so far as to nail up the doors of 
their pews in the old church to prevent their occu- 
pancy by those left behind. Although Father Taylor 
never fully sympathized with the anti-slavery move- 
ment, he had the greatest love and profoundest re- 
spect for the ' old church,' and to touch that was to 



TO BOSTON. 93 

touch tlie apple of his eye. He offei ed his arm to one 
of the old elect ladies (Miss D.) to escort, hei' home. 
She was one of his earliest converts. As was natural, 
almost the first question asked after the usual saluta- 
tions, was, ' Well, Father Taylor, what do you think 
of us secessionists ? ' — ' Think,' said he, pushing his 
spectacles nervously farther up on his forehead, — 
' think ? I think you will all go to hell.' — ' Oh, dear ! ' 
was the reply, ' can you think so ? ' — ' Yes,' said he, 
with more emphasis ; and then launched out in 
bitter denunciations of those who would ruin the 
'old hive.' — ' Oh, dear ! ' said she : ' Father Taylor, 
what can we, what shall we do ? ' — ' Do !.' said he, 
' there is but one thing to do : j'^ou have got to weep 
tears enough to rust out all those nails, or you will 
all go to hell -together.' 

" In heated discussion Father Taylor was sometimes 
at fault in judgment, and even on ordinary occasions ; 
but there was one place in which he was always right, 
and where he shone pre-eminent as a man of God. It 
was when he talked religious experience. I shall 
never forget his talk, one evening, in the family of 
Capt. Windsor, with whom we were stopping, and 
' the oldest captain of the port,' he called him. His 
conversation was prolonged, after we had retired for 
the night. He showed that he literally ' walked with 
God,' as the choicest gems of Christian experience 
fell from his lips. He talked as one who had been in 
the inner chamber, and seen the iVIaster face to face. 
And this was not unusual. Those who knew him 
best, and to whom in lii.s municuts of rapt devotion 



94 FATHER TAYLOR. 

he unbosomed himself thus, came from his presence 
feeling that the celestial fire was burning in his heart, 
and that his tender, burning words were those of 
one who had been taught in the school of Christ." 

He remained on this circuit one year, when he was 
sent to Falmouth and Sandwich; in 1821 to Sand- 
wich and Harwich ; in 1822 to Harwich and Barnsta- 
ble ; in 1823 to Fairhaven and New Bedford ; in 
1824 to Martha's Vineyard ; in 1825 to Milford : in 
1826 to Bristol, R.I. ; and in 1827 and 1828 to Fall 
River and Little Compton. 

Of his work in these places we have gathered a few 
reminiscences. At Barnstable, he was especially 
troubled with the cold formalism of the Orthodox 
churches. Rev. Mr. Burr was the Congregational 
preacher in Sandwich, Rev. Mr. Pratt at West Barn- 
stable, and Rev. Mr. Alden at Yarmouthport. Ifi 
preaching Merhodist doctrine, he often came in sharp 
collision with these clerg3'men, and did not always re- 
gard the proprieties of the debate. At one of his reg- 
ular sabbath services in Barnstable, he especially re- 
membered these men in his prayer, saying, " Bless 
meek Burr, proud Pratt, and old wicked Alden." They 
survived this Scotch blessing, and probably recipro- 
cated it.- The worthy descendant of John Alden, 
whom he thus hotly characterized, no doubt paid him 
back in good coin ; and they would have been good 
friends had they afterwards come together ; for he 
never loved any persons better than those with whom 
he had fierce contentions. 

The private house of Prince Hinckley, close by 



TO BOSTON. 95 

what is known as the Nine-mile Pond in Barnstable, 
was one of his regular preaching places. One, cold 
day, while the snow was still on the ground, some 
candidates wefe ready to be baptized by immersion. 
Some rude fellows standing by were speaking in an 
undertone of the cold bath ; but he overheard them, 
and spoke out loudly, saying, — 

" Brethren, if your hearts are warm, 
Snow and ice can do no harm." 

At one of his services, some scoffers were speaking 
lightly of his meetings, when one of their number 
said (not expecting to be heard), " Well, these Meth- 
odists do beat the Devil." He overheard them, and 
responded quickly, " One here has just said, ' Well, 
these Methodists do beat the DevU.' He is just 
right about that. That is just our business, and 
we are doing the best we can." 

When Lorenzo Dow came to the Cape to preach, 
E. T. Taylor was the only minister who showed him 
any favor, and he rendered him much assistance in 
going from place to place, and in gathering congre- 
gations. 

The circuit preacher tried it once too many times 
on the " meek Pratt." While this minister was at one 
time preaching in a schoolhouse, Taylor came in late, 
and remained in the entry near the door, where the 
preacher did not see him. As soon as the sefmon- 
was ended, he stepped in, and, without any invita- 
tion, or even permission, he attempted to demolish 
the nrgumeuts of the preaclier. Mr. Pratt remained 



96 FATHER TAYLOR. 

cool and silent, and closed, tlie meeting without as 
umcli as attempting any reply, and this coolness se- 
cured him the sympathy oF the audience. 

He came to Sandwich to lecture on.temperiince, 
driving from Plymouth with mud to his wagon-axles, 
getting there at ten o'clock at uight. The Unitarian 
minister had lectured, but the people voted to stay 
and hear Father Taylor. He opened in his charac- 
teristic way, quoting the proverb, " Better late than 
never," and adding that he " had never worked so 
hard in his life before to be late." 

Upoii the completion of the ship " Edward Evereitt " 
at Sandwich, a collation was held on board, at which 
Father Taylor was present. 

Mr. Everett proposed the following toast : " It is 
said that it takes nine tailors to make a man, but 
we have a Taylor who has made many men." Father 
Taylor responded : " There may be some here who are 
not acquainted with the origin of this saying, and I 
will relate it. A man in England once became great- 
ly discoui-aged in his business affairs, and called at a 
tailor's shop, where nine tailors were at work, each 
of whom gave him a sixpence. This so encouraged 
the poor man, that he set himself diligently at work 
to gather a fortune r he soon became rich, and had 
painted on the panel of his coach, ' Nine tailors 
made me a man.' " 

Of his residence in Martha's Vineyard, we have 
these reminiscences through the favor of Richard L. 
Pease, Esq. : — " 

" At the conference of 1824, Father Taylor was 



TO BOSTON. 97 

appointed to Martha's Vineyard, — the whole island 
then forming one circuit, but now having four Meth- 
odist churches and as many preachers. 

" Although then only about thirty years of age, ho 
appeared much older. Those characteristic lines so 
deeply engraven on his memorable face had even 
then begun to appear. The wearing of spectacles, 
seldom less than two pairs at once, in no small degree 
served to strengthen this conviction. 

" Such were his activity and zeal in those days, 
that all parts of his charge had due attention, and 
shared in his labors. Boy as I then was, I can dis- 
tinctly remember how cheerfully he spoke of ' step- 
ping over to Holmes Hole,' a distance of eight miles. 
Armed with his memorable black canei he quickly 
completed his journey, coming in from his long walk 
fresh and ready for duty. In those days there was 
no small amount of opposition to the doctrines now so 
universiilly accepted as truth ; and, of course, com- 
bativeness was not unfrequently called into action. 

." The venerable Rev. Joseph Thaxter, who, in 
June, 182.5, the year after Mr. Taylor- was stationed 
at Martha's Vineyard, officiated as chaplain at the 
time when Lafayette laid the corner-stone of the 
Bunker-Hill Monument, was then pastor of theCon- 
gregationalist Church in Edgartown, and had been for 
ii[)wards of forty years. A soldier in the Revolutionary 
War, — being chaplain in Prescott's regiment, and for 
many years the only minister in his town, settled by 
tlie joint vote of the town and the Church, — ■ it is 
not strange that he, imperious and positive as he was 
7 ■ , 



98 PATHEE TAYLOR. 

by nature, should feel deeply aggrieved when others, 
teaching doctrines which he did not believe, and hold- 
ing night-meetings, especially abhorrent to the staid 
conservatives of those days, came unbidden by him, 
into his parish, where he had so long held, absolato 
and undisputed sway, and sought to gather the 
sheep of his flock into their folds. On one occasion 
he raised his cane over the head of young Taylor ; 
but he did not strike, a soft answer turning away 
wrath. In his services on the following sabbath Mr. 
Taylor fervently prayed for his aged foe, asking God 
that ' eve,ry hair of his venerable head might he hung 
ivith a jeweV 

" The labors of the year were blessed with fruit. 
Hon. Thomas Bradley, long an influential citizen of 
Holmes Hole, and a pillar in the Methodist Church 
in that village, still spared and still zealous in the 
cause he then learned to love, was one of those given 
to him as seals of his ministry. Some years after- 
wards, while Father Taylor was in the midst of his 
labors in Boston, he was present at an evening meet- 
ing, where there was some failure to respond with 
satisfactory readiness to the warm and glowing ap- 
peals of the pastor, who turned to Mr. Bradley, whom 
he had descried in the audience, saying, ' Brother 
Bradley, are you dead or alive ? If alive, we want to 
hear from you.' The prompt response was highly 
gratifying; and Father Taylor said, 'There, I knew 
he was alive. He is one of my children, and they 
live forever ! ' 

'•No man better knew how to reach the hearts and 



TO BOSTOK. 99 

the pockets, when desirable, of seamen. Appealing 
to their benevolence one day, he said, ' All of you 
who have not spent your money for grog will, of 
course, have something to give to-day ; and now I 
shall know, shipmates, which of you keep sober.' 

"Father Taylor held services often on board of 
ships just about to leave port on a long cruise after 
Vk'hales. In these services, the first, it is believed, 
held on board of ships in our harbor, there was mucli 
to enlist the sympathy of all who participated in 
them. The owners, who had large material interests 
at stake, subject to the perils of the seas and the vicis- 
situdes of a voyage rarely less than three years long, 
were deeply anxious as to the result, so uncertain 
and far oif. Friends were about to be long sundered, 
and were worshipping together for the last time pos- 
sibly. The mariners themselves, some of whom were 
making their first voyage, while others had often be- 
fore known the bitterness of parting from the dear 
ones, were in that mood of mind that led them to 
hsten with more than wonted feeling to the sympa- 
thizing words of one who had himself been a sailor. 
It is not strange, that, on such occasions, the words 
of one so tender as Father Taylor should stir the 
soul to its inmost depths. 

" His manner of greeting is well remembered. A t 
the close of an excellent evening meeting, not satis- 
fied with a simple hand-shaking with one of the most 
worthy men of his church, the late Capt. Chase Pease, 
he threw liij arms around his shoulders, and pressing 
down upon them, in his peculiar way, exclaimed in 
earnest tones, ' Salt! ' ' Salt I ' 



100 FATHEK TAYLOR. 

" Speaking of himself in one of his disi;oursea 
while (;n the island, he said, ' I do not want to he 
buried in the ground when I die. But bury me, 
rather, in the deep blue sea, where the coral rocks 
shall be xnj pillow, and the seaweeds shall be my 
winding-sheet, and where the waves of the ocean 
shall sing my requiem for ever and ever.' " 

This last remark was given somewhat differently on 
another occasion, and was done into verse by Charles 
]\r. F. Deems, and published in " The Christian Ad- 
vocate." This is the new version in prose and 
l)oetry : — 

" When I die, I wish you to take me to my own pure salt sea and bury me ; 
wliere I have bespoken the seaweed for my winding-sheet, the coral for my 
Kitfia, and the sea-shells for my tombstone." — Ubv. E. T. Taylor. 

" The seaweed shall be my winding-sheet, 
And the coral shall bo my coffin meet, ■ 
The beautiful shells shall my form secrete ; 

And the swelling surge, 
As it dashes proudly to the shore, 
With the solemn music of its roar, 
On the wings of the whistling wind shall pour 

My wild, sad dirge." 

For four years longer he continued in these journey- 
lugs, often by the deep sea, only once getting away 
from the music of its roar, when he was sent to Mil- 
ford and Hopkinton. At last, in 1828, while preach- 
ing at Fall River, his time came. The Boston Meth- 
odists had a chapel left vacant by the erection of a 
new church, and they desired that it should be appro- 



TO BOSTON. 101 

priated to the sailors. That desire was fostered bj 
the thought that so fit a man to instruct them and 
lead them in the way that they should go was wan- 
dering along the shore, his talents half used, and his 
great ability half squandered. The man and the 
mission met, and Father Tajlor took up his aliode in 
Boston. 



VII. 

THE BETHEL ENTERPRISE. 

PTj da his Place. — His Wife'8 Story of their Coming to Boeton. — Rev. Geoiga 
S. Noyea 'a Narrative of the Origin and Growth. of the Port Society. — Its 
Bethel. — Store. — Aid SuCiety to Seamen's Families. — Mariner's House. — 
Its Chief Helpers, Kessrs. Motley, Barrett, and Fearing. — Mr. Holbrook'a 
Narrative of the Beginning of the Movement. — First Sermon in the First 
Bethel. — The Methodists originate the Entei*prise. — The Unitarians accept 
it, and carry it forward. — The New Church. — Its Dedication. — Out at Sea. 

FATHER TAYLOR had been a member of the 
Church seventeen years, a licensed preacher 
thirteen, and a travelling preacher nine years before 
he reached the real beoriunin'j of his life-work and 
renown. He was in the juicy prime of his manhood, 
not far from thirty-five years old, when he leaped upon 
the quarter deck, where he held such sway for nearly 
half a century. He had begun in this line and had 
steadily and unconsciously pursued it. His conver- 
sion was in a tarpaulin hat and sailor's jacket ; his 
first sermons were to sailors ; his prayers and preach- 
ing were fuU of the salt, salt sea ; his circuits had 
hugged the beach. They had only once got so fai 
inland that he could not in an hour 

" Travel thither, 
And see the oliildren play upon the shore, 
And hear the mighty waters rolling evermore." 
102 



THE BETHEL ENTEEPEISB. 103 

From Scituate round about to Newport he had illu- 
mined the South Shore, the Cape, the Vinej'ard, and 
the Narraganset with his tongue of fire. His only 
two preaching places north of Boston when he began 
to teach and to preach were by the shore of the 
sounding sea, — Saugus and Marblehead. There was a 
fascination in it to him, and in him to it, which seemed 
lo be mutually irresistible. Naj'', there was a divin- 
ity that shaped this end. The doom of his life was 
on one line from the start. The runaway lad from a 
Virginia plantation took the strange freak for a South- 
ern lad of going to sea, with an unconscious drawing 
of Providence. As Farragut left the hills of Ten- 
nessee, and struggled through the Naval Academy in 
order that he might become the naval deliverer of his 
■ country ; so Edward Thomson Tajdor went forth, not 
knowing whither or wherefore he went. " The child 
was father of the man," in conduct no less than in 
character. And in his happy case he found 

" Ilis days to be, 
Joined each to each in natural piety." 

How this last and permanent manner of his life 
began to be, may be best told in the words of his 
wife. In her journal she relates, not only the reasons 
for his coming, but herown conversion to the seamen, 
and an interesting incident which inaugurated his Port 
career. It was almost as important an event in the 
history of the Bethel for " Mother Taylor " to get her 
heart turned to the work, as it was for Father Taylor 



104 FATHER TAYLOR. 

to be appointed unto it. Tlius she records the facts 
in her journal, written in the year 1868, just on the 
close of her long and loving life : — 

' In the year 1828 we were stationed in Fall River. This was our see- 
on d year. In October the Methodists in Boston sent for Mr. jCaylor to 
preach to the seamen in a vacated church, the first one built by the 
Methodists, as an experiment. The house was filled to overflowing 
and the result was the moving of our family from Fall River to Boston 
in 1829. Mr. Taylor was in his 'element. Having been a sailor him- 
self, his heart yearned for the conversion of his brethren of the sea; and 
his soul was cheered in seeing them come home to God. The Method- 
ists did not feel able or sufficiently interested to sustain an institution 
for seamen. The house was to be sold; and Mr. Taylor wont South 
and begged the money with which the house was purchased, thus estab- 
lishing preaching for seamen. "When we first came to Boston, I did 
not worship constantly at the Bethel, but joined the Bennet-street 
Methodist Church, where I continued to worship for some three or four 
years, laboring with and for others, not my husband's people. I felt 
the need of sympathy, which I thought I could not have with them. 

"About this time I had a very bad cough, grew very feeble, and it was 
thought I should live but a short time. During this season of illness, I 
decided, that, if I recovered, I would devote myself to my husband's 
people, doing as I had. done before coming to Boston, consider them our 
people,^ and get my good in trying to do good among them. A circum- 
stance transpired when Mr. Taylor first came to Boston worthy of note. 
A dissipated man, an infidel, despising religion and every thing good, 
dreamed that a stranger was coming to Boston, and he must go and 
hear him preach. The good Spirit followed him; he went to church; 
and when ho saw the preacher he exclaimed, ' That is the man I saw in 
my dream.' Before the sermon closed, he came forward to the altar, 
begging to be prayed for and with. This was the first fruit of Mr. 
Taylor's labors in Boston. God gave him this soul. 

" He was naturally a great man, was talented and of good education, but 
was very uninviting in personal appearance, almost to loathsomeness, 
from his long-continued dissipation. Yet, as he grew into the new life, his 
fltsh became like the flesh of a babe ; and after twenty years, as I looked 
for the last time upon his body sleeping in death, I praised God for sucl 
a trophy of divine grace. 



THE BETHEL ENTBEPEISE. 105 

" He was beautiful to look upon ; and I felt that though dead he was 
Baying, 'Home at lastl home at last!' Glory to Grod for a religion 
that can save to the uttermost all that come unto him through Jesus, 
blessed name 1 Blessed Saviour I this hlood avails for me. 

"The little church in ' Methodist Alley ' soon became too strait; and 
when the Boston merchants learned what was doing and what ought to 
be done for those who had been left so long to exclaim, ' No man careth for 
my soul,' they aroused themselves. One Unitarian gentleman, Nathajiiel 
A . BaiTett, Esq., wrote one hundred notifications, and left them himself at 
the doors of the merchants, calling a ineoting of his brethren, the Unitari-, 
ans. They responded at once, being a people always waiting and ready 
to do good, collected money, and built the present church in North 
Square. The Unitarians have been our warmest friends, and have an- 
swered to every call for the benefit of Ocean's children. They have 
given money by thousands upon thousands, until church and boarding- 
house are free from debt. Yet still we ask, and are allowed to do so, 
whenever money is wanted. How often I wish they could hear thesca- 
men speak of their hope of heaven through the benefit they have de- 
rived from a Home and a Bethel Church I I think the merchants would 
feel that they were drawing great interest for the invested money ; and, 
if prayers and good wishes will save them, they -iviU all be saved. How 
wonderfully our heavenly Father has blessed us all these years ! Many, 
many sons of the deep have we seen brought home to God ; and yet we 
are laboring on, and perhaps never more successfully than at present. 
Though wo are growing old, our strength is not abated, and our spirits, 
yet active, are striving to save souls^ We live to labor, and labor to 
live." 

Just before her entrance upon this new anrl stable 
life, Mrs. Taylor writes thus trustingly : — 

" March 17, 1827. — The Lord knows what is best for us ; and, if wc 
jate trials, they are good to refine us. I have no right to expect any 
more than my daily bread. I hope I shall have faith to believe he ordei-s 
lU things right, and to trust the Lord, who hoareth the young ravens 
when they cry." 

A more full history of this beginning has been kind- 



106 FATHER TAYLOR. 

ly prepared for this volume by Father Taylor's suc- 
cessor, the Rev. George N. Noyes, which details all 
the steps by which this noble charity lias been led 
these forty years of labor, sacrifice, and reward. 

HISTORY OF THE BOSTON PORT SOCIETY, AND ITS 
AUXILIARY, THE SEAMEN's AID SOCIETY. 

" The 'period that marked Father Taylor's entrance 
upon the work of the Christian ministry was one of 
slight appreciation, sad neglect, and unsparing abuse 
of the hardy sons of old ocean. That the young 
sailor-preacher should from the start espouse their 
cause, and earnestly advocate their claims to more 
humane and Christian treatment, was but natural. His 
stirring appeals in their behalf aroused the moral 
sense, the sympathies, and the energies of the people. 

In November, 1828, a movement was inaugurated 
whose beneficent results to seamen will be the theme 
of song and story with myriads of redeemed souls 
throughout the coming ages. A company of mem- 
bers of the Methodist-Episcopal Church, so the first 
report of the Port Society of Boston and vicinit}^ rep- 
resents, came together for the purpose of organizing 
a society whose avowed object should b,e the moral 
and religious elevation of seamen. This led to the 
formation of the Port Society of the city of Boston 
and vicinity, which was incorporated the following 
February, with the following-named persons as its 
board of managers : William True, William Dyer, 
Warren Bowker, Thomas Patten, Oliver Train, Noah 



THE BETHEL ENTEEPEISE. 1U7 

K. Skinner, George Sutherland, Jacob Foster, John 
Templeton, Thomas Bagnall, George Bowers, William 
Parker, Samuel F. Holbrook, William W. Motley, and 
James Hutchinson. Of the fifteen persons thus con- 
stituting its first board of management, nine were 
Methodists, and, we think, members of the Bromfield- 
street Methodist Episcopal Church. 

The first. annual meeting of the society was held 
Jan. 1, 1829 ; and the first work done in the line of 
its avowed object was the establishment of a Seamen's 
Bethel in this citj"-, of which Rev. E. T. Taylor was 
to be the pastor. From the predominance of Meth- 
odists in the inaugural movement one would have 
supposed that a Methodist Bethel would have been 
established ; and, indeed, many have regarded the 
Seatnen's Bethel as thus connected. Such, how- 
ever, was not the intention, and is not the fact. In 
this, we think, the wisdom of the original movers 
in the enterprise was displayed. The Methodists 
were not then, as now, rich and influential ; and the 
financial burden of such an institution could not have 
been borne. Hence their establishment of an inter- 
est to be regarded as perfectly free from sectarian 
bias. This is evident from a glance at the original 
constitution. This document, though containing a 
provision that the occupant of the Bethel pulpit 
should be appointed by the bishop or bishops uf the 
Methodist Episcopal Church, yet reserved to the 
board of managers of the society the privilege of 
electing otherwise by a two-thirds vote. 

We find also this significant restriction. " This 



108 FATHER TAYLOR. 

society shall never, either directly or indirectly, in ita 
object, influences, or tendencies, have in any degree a 
sectarian character." It further made it obligatory 
upon its minister or chaplain to introduce such per- 
sons as, upon profession of faith in Christ, desired to 
become members of other churches to the pastors 
thereof. 

It will thus be seen that wise precautions were 
taken at the start, by the framers of the constitution, 
to establish and perpetuate a non-denominational 
Seamen's Bethel. And thus the criticisms upon 
Father Taylor's failure to inake the Bethel a Meth- 
odist institution are shorn of their force. The judg- 
ment of those who laid the keel of the Bethel-ship 
embraced no such result. That Father Taylor ac- 
corded with this policy is evident from the fact that 
he rigidly enforced it. For though himself a Method- 
ist, — and none who knew him will accuse him of 
having ever betrayed the church of his choice, — the 
Bethel has ever been non-denominational. 

Immediately upon his appointment, at the session 
of the New-England Conference, in 1829, as Mariner's 
Preacher at Boston, the Port Society took steps to 
procure a suitable place for religious services. The ' 
old Methodist-alley Chapel, the cradle of Boston 
Methodism, being unoccupied, it was selected ; and 
here the eloquent preacher commenced the life-work 
to which he was unquestionably especially called. 
Having negotiated for the transfer of the church 
property, effort was made to raise the demanded 
equivalent among the friends of seamen in Boston. 



THE BETHEL ENTEKPEISE. 109 

This effort failing, Father Taylor was sent South to 
collect the requisite amount, — two thousand dollars. 
This work kept him employed quite a portion of the 
years 1830 and 1831. But he succeeded, and re- 
turned with twenty-one hundred dollars, and the 
church was paid for. 

While preaching here, so marked was his success 
and matchless his eloquence, that he awakened a 
deep interest in the enterprise he represented among 
the merchants of Boston and the public generally. 
The result was that the Port Society decided to hold 
their third anniversary in some prominent and central 
place, and set forth more publicly the nature and de- 
mands of the work. The late Rev. Dr. Gannett's, then 
Rev. Dr. Channing's, church was selected. Among 
the notables present at this meeting was Rev. 'Dr. Fisk. 
Immediately after this meeting a public meeting of 
the Boston merchants was called to consider the 
claims of seamen, and devise measures to meet the 
same. The inauguration of this movement is largely 
due to the enthusiasm and activity of one of the life- 
long friends of Father Taylor and the Bethel, N. A. 
Barrett, Esq. This meeting was held in Marine Hall, 
Tuesday, Jan. 10, 1832. Hon. William Sturgis, an- 
other of the Bethel's fi-iends and patrons, presided, 
and N. A. Barrett, Esq., was chosen secretary. 

The object of the meeting was presented by the 
secretary, and freely discussed. The work of the 
Port Society, the marked ability and fitness of 
its eloquent chaplain, and the demand for his . hearf-.-o , 
support, were earnestly stated. 



110 FATHER TAYLOR. 

Then and there the Boston Port Society was adopt- 
ed and provided for by the merchants of the city ; and 
a committee was appointed to raise money to build a 
cliurch for Rev. E. T.Taylor, to be held and used in 
accordance with the provisions of the constitution of 
the society under whose auspices he labored. This 
committee, at whose head we find the name of Hon. 
WiUiam Sturgis, at once applied themselves to the 
work to which they were appointed ; and the follow- 
ing year, 1833, realized the completion, at a cost, of 
twenty-four thousand dollars, of the world-known 
edifice, the Seamen's Bethel, North Square, Boston. 

During the erection of the church Father Taylor 
was absent on a European tour, from which he re- 
turned to find it ready for his occupanc3^ It soon 
became the centre of attraction among the churches 
of the city, its capacity to afford even standing-room 
being frequently exhausted. 

. By this liberality and enterprise, the Boston Port 
Society was relieved of its embarrassment, and well 
furnished unto its good work. The now recognized 
patrons of this enterprise being largely, if not entirely, 
from the Unitarian denomination, the original movers 
in the effort saw the propriety of their being discon- 
nected with its management. Hence the gradual 
withdrawal of the Methodists from the board, and the 
filling of their places with those who assumed its 
financial burdens.* The awakened interest in seamon 
that gave to them the Bethel, resulted about the same 

* Its president, William W. Motley, Ksq., who held that ofSce for some time 
after this, w-is fi Methoflisl. 




THE SEAMEN'S BETHEL, 
Erected by the Bostos Poet Society, AD. 1833. 



THE BETHEL ENTEEPKISE. Ill 

time in the incorporation of the Suffolk Savings 
Bank, designed at first to be exclusively devoted to 
seamen. 

Thus the great apostle to seamen saw the fruit of 
liis efforts rapidly accumulating, abundantly assuring 
hira that his " labor " had not been "in vain in the 
Lord." 

It was now seen, that, in the absence of their natu- 
ral protectors, the wives and children of seamen must 
suffer great privations, and there arose in the hearts 
of a few ladies in the city a desire to do something 
for tlieir relief. 

The Bethel pastor being absent in Europe, the 
ladies conferred with Mrs. Taylor, and suggested a 
plan for action. She heartily co-operated in the 
movement. Steps were at once taken to form a soci- 
ety for the relief of seamen and their families. Many 
readily responded to the call, though some gave it 
the cold shoulder ; but the rest were determined, and 
succeeded. The Society was organized Jan. 8, 1833, 
and immediately commenced work. A fair was held 
in a room in the Masonic Temple in February, from 
which the handsome sum of nine hundred and four- 
teen dollars was realized, which gave the Society a 
good start. The same month there was received 
from the Boston Port Society, through its president, 
William W. Motley, Esq., " a proposition that the 
Seamen's Aid Society become an auxiliary to the Bos- 
ton Port Society, and act in concert with them.' 
Tliis proposition was adopted. 

In December of this year a vote was passed appro- 



112 FATHER TAYLOR. 

priating three hundred dollars toward the establish- 
ment of a clothing-store, from which work should bo 
supplied to the wives, widows, and daughters of sea- 
men, and a just price, should he paid them for their 
labor. 

In accordance with this vote, the following month 
a room was hired in the Bethel building to be used 
as a store. A seamen's widow was also hired as a 
supervisor, to cut and give out the work, and a com- 
mittee to make the purchases. On the 28th of 
February the Seamen's Aid Society store was opened 
to the public, for the sale of such articles as are usu- 
ally wanted by seamen. DifBculty in getting work 
done well and neatly being realized, it was thought 
advisable to open a sewing-school for girls, which 
was done in May, 1836 ; girls being taught therein 
not only to make shirts neatly, but to make and mend 
their own garments. 

In 1837 the assistance of the ladies was desired 
in arranging and establishing a seamen's boarding- 
house, to be conducted on strictly temperance princi- 
ples. Not deeming it best to risk • the funds of 
the Society in any new project at that time, they of- 
fered to solicit funds from their friends for 1 his pur- 
pose. In a few weeks a thousand dollars in cash and 
furniture were procured, and the house was dedicated 
in Mayi by religious services, and opened for board- 
ers under the management of a committee of gentle- 
men. 

In January, 1839, it was found that after six years' 
of existence, the members of the Society had increased 



THE BETHEL ENTERPRISE. 113 

to five hundred. A Seamen's Aid clothing-store had 
been established, to the business of which five thou- 
sand nine hundred and ninety-four dollars had been 
appropriated. A free school for seamen's daughters 
had been in operation nearly three years, at an ex- 
pense of eleven hundred and fifty dollars. Fourteen 
hundred and fifty-nine dollars had been given to 
widows and . destitute seamen. And five thousand 
one hundred and seventy-nine dollars had been paid 
to work-women. 

In April, 1842, the ladies assumed the responsibilitj' 
of t'le management of the seamen's boarding-house, 
and were quite fortunate in securing the services of 
Mr. and Mrs. William Broadhead to take the charge 
of it. In 1845, at the suggestion of the Hon. Albert 
Fearing, president of the Boston Port Society, the 
Society asked for and received an act of incorporation ; 
and at the April meeting a message came to them from 
the managers, of the Port Society, stating that they 
had purchased a lot of land in North Square upon 
which they would erect a suitable house for a Home 
for Seamen. 

A circular was immediately issued to the friends 
of the Society and seamen, asking assistance in fur- 
nishing such a building. To this a generous response 
was. made. Donations in money were received to the 
amount of two thousand two hundred and thirty dol- 
lars, besides bedding and furniture. 

The Mariner's House was completed at a cost of 
thirty-four thousand dollars ; and on March 24, 1847,. 
was dedicated by appropriate religious services, and 
s 



114 FATHER TAYLOK. 

opened to seamen. Under the superintendency of 
]Mr. William Broadhead and his successor, Mr. Na- 
thaniel Hamilton, this house has beren a great auxil- 
iary to the Bethel and a great blessing to seamen. 

Able now to sow beside • all waters, and rejoicing 
in the resulting abundant harvests, the Port Society 
faithfully applied its means and energies toward the 
fulfilment of the gracious promise, "The abundance 
of the sea shall be converted unto thee." Its elo- 
quent, faithful minister received its hearty support 
and warmest sympathies ; and the good work went 
on, thousands of seameji being born into the kingdom 
of God, while hundreds of thousands shared the privi- 
lege of listening to his wonderful preaching. 

We should not omit to mention the Hon. Albert 
Fearing, the worthy President of the Society for the 
last thirty years, whose devotion to the Bethel and its 
interests demands especial commendation. Surround- 
ed by a noble company of gentlemen as associates in the 
management of the interests of the Society, and ably 
supported by the late ex-Governor Andrew, and his 
successor, Hon. Thomas Russell, as corresponding sec- 
retary, and the very efficient treasurer, Charles Henry 
Parker, he has labored with unremitting toil and a; 
zeal worthy of the cause. 

The two societies, after successfully laboring as 
separate organizations, yet in the same cause, for near- 
ly forty years, united their destinies in the year 1867, 
and became incorporated under the title of " The 
Boston Port and Seamen's Aid Society ; " thus re- 
taining their honored names, wliile they consolidated 




THE MARINER'S HOUSE, 

KKECTED by the BOSTOJf POKT SOCIETY, A. D. 1847. 



THE BETHEL ENTERPEISE. 113 

Lheir resources, and more closely united their efforts 
to maintain and perpetuate the preaching and prac- 
tice of the gospel to seamen." 

This interesting histoiy of the origin arid work of 
the Society is confirmed by a letter received from one 
of its original founders, Samuel F. Holbrook, Esq., 
who is the only original member known to be alive, 
except John Ternpleton, Esq., of Cambridge. Mr. 
Holbrook shows that the enterprise had its origin in 
Methodist zeal ; that it was conducted by them through 
its initiatory stages ; that it was not dropped by them 
through lack of interest, as Mrs. Taylor's -journal sug- 
gests, but through their own financial feebleness and 
the growth of their own work ; and was not even then 
surrendered until between two and three thousand 
dollars had been collected through the Church, and 
the first chapel had been delivered from its embarrass- 
ments. This is his narrative of the steps that led to 
the organization of this work, and of the first sermon 
preached in the first bethel by Father Taylor. 



VINELAND, Sept. 6, 1871. 

" Somewhere about 1825 — the precise year I hare no record of* — 
I was a member of the Methodist chui-ch then worshipping in Bromfii Id 
Stvoot. About that time the society which had occupied the building 
in what was then called Methodist Alley had removed to a new church 
on Bennot Street. Of coarse the former building was unoccupied. 
Four of ua brethren, namely, William Parker, Mr. Bowers, W. W. 
Motley, and myself met for consultation, and agreed to lease the old 
house, and establish a Seaman's Bethel. "We mentioned it to our brcth' 
ton, who all thought favorably of it. Our business was now to obtain 

* It was in 1828. 



116 FATHER TAYLOE. 

funds and to secure the lease. We obtained the lease \\ ithout difficulty, 
bat found the collecting funds was up-hill work. The next thing in 
order was procuring a suitable preacher. A green landsman or a worn- 
out old fogy* would not answer^ Through Divine Providence we 
heard of a young man who was preaching at Fall Kiver, who had 
served on board a privateer during the War of 1812. His name was 
Taylor. We accordingly communicated with him, and obtained his 
consent to preach for us on trial. Our finances being limited, we could 
not fix upon a salary then. The project being looked upon favorably 
by all to whom wo made known our design, we assumed the responsi- 
bility, sent notices on board the vessels in the harbor an.<l to the several 
seamen boarding-houses ; also notices were read from the several pulpits. 
On the following sabbath, which was the coldest day of the winter, the 
house was crowded to overflowing. Mr. Taylor remarked that the middle 
portion was devoted to the sons of the ocean. The landsmen must find 
seats where they could. Too many of them had already occupied the 
reserved seats. . Observing some seamen entering the door and looking 
round for seats, he called to them fi-om the ample pulpit, ' Here, boys, 
come up here.' The singing was sublime. Then followed the prayer, 
which, from its simplicity and fervor, affected every heart. Another 
beautiful hymn was sung; and then came the sermon, from the 147th 
Psalm, 1 7th verso, — ' Who can stand before his cold V — a very appro- 
priate text for the day, for it was terribly cold. The sermon was just 
the one for the occasion, full of pathos, and earnestness for the welfare 
of seamen. A good collection was taken up, which was quite encour- 
aging.t We had each pledged ourselves to put twenty-five cents in the 
contfibution-box every Sunday, besides accepting the liability of defray- 
ing all expenses. We had not yet made any definite arrangement with 
Mr. Taylor respecting his salary, he being wiUing to take what we could 
raise. 

" It soon became evident, however, that his wants ex'^eeded our capa- 
city ; so we commenced begging, and suggested to him a tour through 
our neighboring seaport towns, in which he was successful ; but, on his 
return homeward, he was robbed of every cent which he had obtained. 
This loss did not discourage us. Wo found friends who assisted us in 
our trouble, the main part of which was to make our minister comfort- 
able. 

*This word had not then been inventsd, but It seems that there was need 
for It. 

t Another person, who says ho was present, says that the collection 
amounted to seventy-five cents. 



THE BETHEL ENTERPRISE. 117 

" At about this juncture some of our prominent merchants of the Uni 
tarian order, who had taken quite an interest in Mr. Taylor, made the 
following proposition to him : namely, that if he would allow ministers 
of other denominations the use of his pulpit, they would erect a suitable 
chapel, and give him a competent sahiry. Tliis offer was at once ac- 
cepted ; and this was the origin of the Seamen's Bethel in North Square, 
Boston. Under this arrangement our original trusteeship was dissolved. 
But, notwithstanding Mr. Taylor's willingness to come under the propo- 
siti jn of the Unitarians with regard to sectarian, distinctions in the 
m.T.nagoment of the Bethel, I believe he never deviated in the smallest , 
point from the true evangelical doctrine taught by the apostles." 

It will be seen from these narratives that the origin 
. of this Society was with the Methodists. They were 
led to it by these considerations, — a vacant house, a 
fitting preacher, and a desire to save neglected souls. 
The opportunity and the man came together, and 
their zeal outran their discretion in attempting even 
to carry out so grand a design. A little chapel of 
the humblest sort had been used for a score of 
years in Methodist Alley, as it was then known, 
Hanover Alley as it is called to-day. They had long 
before outgrown it in numbers, but had not felt able 
to arise and build a more commodious and befitting 
edifice. The time had come at last ; and Bennet- 
jitreet Church was^ completed, a comely structure for 
the times, and still an attractive temple, occupied by 
the Freewill Baptists. A heavy debt encumbered it ; 
and the lirethren, struggling under this load, could 
neither help the Bethel movement financially, nor 
even grant them the use of their old chapel gratui- 
tously. They could only give it their best wishes 
and prayers, and the services of a very remarkable 
preacher. 



118 FATHER TAYLOE. 

Yet to even project such an enterprise in theil 
financial poverty, if such a juxtaposition is proper, 
showed a breadth of faith that has but few equals in 
church history. 

The Bromfield-street Church, having got estab- 
lished in their chapel, and being in a somewhat better 
condition, thougli without any wealthy members, 
came to the aid of their North-End brethren ; and the 
second society formed in Puritan Boston for the spirit- 
ual and temporal welfare of the seamen was organ- 
ized, as we have seen, under their auspices and of theii 
leading men. The gentlemen inentioned by Mr. 
Noyes as its original founders were tlie chiefs of the 
Bromfield-street Church for many years. 

It should be remembered also that at this time 
Boston was the leading seaport of the country. 
New York held the second place, which Boston has to 
now accept. Her wharves were crowded with ships 
of every clime, — steamers were not, — and the Euro- 
pean as well as Asiatic commerce flowed to her doors. 
The shipyards at Medford, Newburyport, Duxbury, 
and other ports along the coast, only fed her coffers. 
■ The seamen of all lands wandered her streets, and 
were beguiled to ruin through her temptations. 
The poor, unknown Methodists looked and saw that 
tliere was no man : they beheld, and there was no 
intercessor. They yearned, over these lost sheep of 
the house of Israel, these sons of their own soil ; 
for American sailors were then nearly all Americans, 
and not as now largely of other lands. 

They saw tlieir young brother of rare fitness foT 



THE BETHEL ENTERPRISE. 119 

this work. He had not struck the best appointments, 
nor was ha likely so to do. The rounded require- 
ments of the leading churches did not fit his genius. 
He was really running to waste on these sea-girt ' cir- 
ouits. The landsmen and he had much in common; 
but he must preach to-them from a deck, and not a 
pulpit, if he would be himself most perfectly, or mas- 
ter them most completely. It was partly to save 
Edward T. Taylor, as well as the seamen, that they 
projected the Bethel. He had already created great 
furore as a camp-meeting and even as a conference 
preacher ; he was widelj'' popular as an occasional re- 
vivalist ; and yet his brethren, lay and clerical, who 
loved and honored him, who discerned his talents and 
the place they should occupy, — such men as Binney 
and Pickering, Fisk and Hedding, — also saw that he 
could not attain to excellence, except as a seamen's 
preacher in a city centre. 

It was therefore under this especial presence of 
the man, that they availed themselves of the opportu- 
-iity. 

It ^should also be said, that while .our Unitarian 
friends deserve great praise for their labors and sacri- 
fices in this noble work, they could hardly have had 
all this honor to themselves, had they not at that 
time possessed nearly all the wealth of the city. All 
the old Puritan churches, with one exception (Old 
South), were in their hands. The few Congregii- 
tionalists were struggling hard to recover their lost 
position ; and in their two or three new enterprises, 
those of Park Street, and Beecher's in Hanover 



120 FATHER TAYLOK. 

Street, were involved beyond all power to e.t.gage in 
outside labors. The Baptists were not much in ad- 
vance of the Methodists in wealth, though a century 
and a half older in years. The Episcopalians were " a 
feeble folk " in numbers, though a few wealthy people 
were among them. They, too, had lost their chief 
church, and were impoverished by the sacrifice. 

The mass of the business, wealth, and enterprise of 
the city was in the hands of the Unitarians. Mrs. 
Seaton, wife of Mr. Seaton, firm of Gales and Seaton 
of "The Washington Globe," describes those of that 
era in the late memoirs of her husband in the fol- 
lowing terms : — 

" Massachusetts generally is Unitarian, its learned 
men and professors being for the most part decidedly 
averse to the inculcation of Trinitarian doctrines. 
Most of the eminent clergymen of Boston have 
seceded. Many of the most intellectual and pious 
strangers, as well as citizens among our acquaintance, 
agree perfectly in this gospel doctrine." 

This was written in 1822, and circumstances were 
not materially altered six years later. They still re- 
tained the almost exclusive control of the wealth and 
influence of the city. 

' Such gentlemen, engaged in commerce, feeling 
that the morals of their employees were in a large 
degree in their own responsibility, especially when 
in their own city, had only to have this duty brought 



belore 



them, to engage ardently in its performance. 
Yet Mr. i3arrett, who is so justly commended by 
Mrs. Taylor and Rev. Mr. Noyes, had to labor hard 



THE BETHEL ENTERPRISE. 121 

and long before he could awaken their interest in this 
cause. They did not respond so readily as might be 
supposed from this just eulogium. No men do to 
a new reform. The cry is in tlie wilderness and to 
indifferent ears long before it is proclaimed on the 
housetops to listening thousands. He endeavored to 
get the Board of Trade interested and failed. lie at 
last allured a company together by invitations, with- 
out giving the object, and, when assembled, let in 
upon them the rare phenomenon of the sailor preacher. 
The tact of the merchant and' the talent of the 
preacher wrought together to create a society and 
organize victory. 

It will be seen, too, how, from the necessities of 
the case, a great freedom must characterize the pulpit 
of the Bethel. The. preacher really had no other 
possible way. He could not carry out his enterprise 
but for wealth that would not be given save for this 
liberty. As chaplains of State institutions, and of 
armies cannot recognize any sect in the use of their 
pulpit, SO- Father Taylor was shut up to this course. 
That he embraced it cordially, was agreeable to his 
nature. He used it wisely, and never failed to fulfil 
his own mission, both in his own pulpit and in those 
lie visited. Christ and Him crucified, his Saviour 
and the Saviour of all men, especially of them who 
believe, was his ceaseless theme. In its presentation 
he spoke with all boldness ; and many who had never 
otherwise heard of this loving Saviour, the Lamb of 
God that taketh away the sins of the world, were 



122 FATHER TAYLOR. 

charmed into listening, reception, and salvation 
through-his charming oratory. 

How the little chapel and its live preacher appeared 
before the statelier edifice was erected, we have al- 
ready learned .from one witness. Another, a former 
jiastor of the same church. Rev. A. D. Sargent, adds 
his testimony : — 

" When Father Taylor was called to Boston to 
preach to the sailors, he was on Hopkinton and Mil- 
ford circuit. Rev. S. Martindale, who was then sta- 
tioned in Boston, took a very active part in the form- 
ation of the Seamen's Friend or Port Society; and the 
constitution was so drawn at the first as to require 
the annual appointment of the preacher by the bishop 
of the Methodist-Episcopal Church, attending the 
New-England Conference. Father Taylor commenced 
his labors in the old Methodist-alley Cliurch. That 
house would accommodate probably about five or six 
hundred hearers'. It had galleries on the sides and 
at the entrance end. It had a high pulpit, and was 
a plain house in its windows, doors, pews, and all its 
fixtures. When he preached in it, it would be crowd- 
ed to its utmost capacity : the people would fill the 
alley in front of the house. Not infrequentl}' he 
would preach four times in the day, — at lOJ, 2^, 5^ , 
and 7-| o'clock, — three times in the old hoTise, and at 
6|, P.M., in some other place. He generally did work 
enough for two men, and always with great force and 
eloquence. He had his poor times and his occasions 
of great freedom of thought and flow of feeling. He 
had almost an unbounded flow of animal spirits, whicli, 



THE BETHEL ENTERPRISE. 123 

mingled with pious desire to do good, and a wonder- 
ful use of language, could but make him eloquent. 
It has been often said when he prayed there was 
nothing too high, too low, or too broad, but he could 
find language to meet the case, to the surprise and 
admiration of all." 

This chapel, as we have se^n, soon became too strait 
for its crowd of landsmen and seamen. The wealth 
and culture of the city poured into the little conven- 
ticle, and Hanover Street was croivded with comers 
and goers. The untauglit sailor was master of Bos- 
ton. It was easy to move forward. The first step, 
that costs, had been taken. The Methodist Port So- 
ciety had initiated the movement. The men of other 
persuasions, of larger wealth and numbers, must carry 
it forward. The next steps follow ; and in four years 
after he enters the city, an unknown preacher except 
to his equally unknown church, he is its acknowl- 
edged popular pulpit orator, in possession of one of 
its finest chapels, in one of its best locations. 

The Bethel, though it looks uncomely by the side 
of later structures, was one of the best churches 
in the city at the time of its erection. It was supe- 
rior to the new Methodist church in Benhet Street, in 
cost, size, aspect, and situation ; superior, externally, 
to Ralpli Waldo Emerson's church ; eq'ial to Dr. 
Wayland's cliurch and Dr. Parkman's ; hardly infe- 
rior to the new one built for Dr. Beecher. It was cen- 
trally and finely located, on a goodly square, fronting 
on a popular street, close to the second, if not the 
cliicf business street of the city. He stood in as good 



1.24 FATHER TAYLOR. 

a pulpit as liis neighbors, and in as notable a place. 
Near him resided many of the wealthy and most of 
the middle class. The foreigners had not yet taken 
possession of the North End ; and weddings as stately, 
fj'om residences as lordly, as those described by Mrs. 
Stowe in " Oldtown Folks," were still celebrated at 
Christ Church, only a block or two from the Bethel, 
and could be witnessed by the little girl in Dr. Beech- 
er's house and the sailor-preacher in North Square. 
He had changed frpm the wandering circuit-rider to 
the city's favorite. He had left the schoolhouse and 
shingle chapel for a brick edifice of port and emi- 
nence. He had entered the choicest society of the 
haughtiest of American towns as freely and easily as 
if to the manor born. He even added that still rare, 
and then most infrequent education, a European tour, 
to his accomplishments, and vaulted at once, by this 
experience, to the top even of the culture of hia 
church and the community. They forgot the unlet- 
tered peddler in the travelled gentleman, the back- 
woods preacher in the polished Boston orator, to 
whom all classes delighted to listen. 

In his tours among the churches of the city to so- 
licit aid for the building of his church, he dropped 
K.^.any sentences more golden than the gifts he re- 
ceived in return. Among them, Rev. Dr. Waterston 
reports two. Casting his eye at the pillars of a state- 
ly church in which he was soliciting help, he said, " I 
do not want your arches and draperies and columns 
for my house. Only give me the shavings that fall 
from your Corinthian pillars." And again : " Drop 



THE BETHEL ENTERPRISE. 125 

your gold into this ocean, and it will cast a wave on 
the shores of Europe which will strike back to the 
islands of the southern sea, and rebound on the north- 
west coast, and so make the circuit of the world, and 
strike this port again." 

This bold figure did not equal in boldness the ac- 
tual facts ; for every such contribution did undoubt- 
edly in its influence, and even in the persoi'-s whom it 
benefited, traverse the whole earth. 

Rev. A. D. Sargent was present at the dedication 
of the new church, and thus describes the sermon 
and the scene : — 

" I heard Father Taylor preach his dedication ser- 
mon of the house in North Square. It was on the 
text, ' Glory to God in the highest ; on earth peace, 
good-will toward men.' It was one of his greatest 
efforts. It was soon after his return from Europe, 
and the occasion wheil he said, ' America is the centre 
of the world, and the centre of America is Boston, 
and the centre of Boston is North Square, and the 
centre of North Square is the Bethel.' He gave 
the gladiatorial theologian with his sharp points a tre- 
mendous thrust. He was emphatically E. T. Taylor 
in his best mood, holding his congregation in tears or 
in smiles at his sovereign pleasure." 

He is now launched on his own deep. Hencefortli 
our record wUl not be so much a formal continuance 
of his life, as a series oPf)ictures taken from that life. 
From 1829 to 1871 he trod this quarter-deck, its master. 
The last few years others were more or less closely 
a&sociated with him in the. pastorship ; but all these 



126 FATHER TAXLOK. 

ministers kindly regarded his wishes and even whims, 
so closely did he cling to this office and work of his 
life. He made " the Bethel" famous in all lands. He 
made that familiar name his own ; so that, since Jacob, 
no one has arisen with whom that word was so close-- 
ly identified as with Father Taylor. " The Bethel " 
was no other seamen's chapeL It was his alone. He 
and it were almost synonymous terms. He was the 
Bethel, the Bethel was he. If a sailor in any port 
thought of One, he thought of the other. The blue 
and white flag that floated over it seemed to dance 
before their wandering eyes under every sky. The 
"mighty man of God who preached beneath its folds 
equally presented himself to these floating souls at 
every port, on every sea. He was their " father " 
always, and in all places. 

So completely did this name and its real import 
control them, that two sailors, seeking this church one 
sabbath morning, turned into North Square, beheld 
the flag flying, and spelled out the letters, "BET 
Beat, H E L, Hell, — ' Beat Hell ! That must be 
Father Taylor's," he cried, and joyfully cast anchor. 

Standing in this centre, he did move the world. 
Though " the hub " is the expression of another, the 
idea, feeling, and execution were especially his own. 
North Square was the pedestal, the Bethel the ful- 
crum, his voice the lever that moved the moving 
world. Sailors carried his name and influence to all 
climes ; and no temptation befell them that was not 
resisted hj strength he had contributed to impart, or 
indulged in with remorse that he had been offend pd. 



THE BETHEL ENTERPRISE. 127 

He might say of himself in his new church and its 
surroundings of store and boarding-house and muUitu- 
dinous friends of wealth, piety, and intelligence, as 
he said of his Mariner's House, when it was opened, 
and he visited it for the first time : as he entered the 
dooi', he paused and said, " Satisfied ! " 

As he stepped in, looking to the right and left, ho 
still said, "Satisfied!" 

As he passed from room to room and from hall 
to hall, he continued, to exclaim, " Satisfied ! Sat- 
isfied ! " 

Herr .Teufelsdreuch, of "Sartor Resartus," ccfn- 
cludes his biography with his attainment of a profes- 
sorship. Father Taylor (not Devil-pressed, but Devil- 
pressing) may have his formal biography end with 
his entrance into this new church. Henceforth his 
life flows like a gulf stream round the world, warm- 
ing the Arctic, cooling the Tropic, — a tide of inspira- 
tion and of blessing unto " all- that go down to the 
sea in ships, and do business on the .great waters." 



VIII. 



IN THE BETHEL. 



Pv^ of wliat he said. — "He is Cursing his Mother." — Webster's Death.— De- 
fends Jenny Lind. — " So was I, David." — New Versions of the Doxology. 

— Mean Christians. — The Come-outer put down. — "My Saviour never 
made a Shaving I" — "A Q-aflf- top sail Jacket." — Sailors' Hearts, how big 
and how sweet. — The Stolen Sermon. — "Follow what you do under- 
stand." — When to pray the Lord's Prayer. — Bigotry and Bad Rum.— 
Mixed Condition of Feeling if not of Faith. — Some Souls don't know where 
they are. — Drthodoxin spite of Himself. — Theodore Parker and the Bible. 

— Voltaire spoken to. — "Farther than that." — Dedication at Quincy. — 
TJltra-CathOlio Catholicity and Ultra-Orthodox Orthodoxy. — TheDevilTTp- 
eet — " Put Spurs to Lightning, and blow a Trumpet in the Ear of Thunder." 

— " The Stem-End of a Cucumber." — " Dare not face a Decent Devil." — 
A Minute-Man. — Plea to a Drunken Hearer. — "Biled" Jordan." — Zeal 
for the Bible. — Hia Appearance in the Pulpit. — His Preparation and Ex- 
haustion. — Rev. Dr. Waterston's Description of his Power over the Sailors, 



rr'lHE field iuto which this young orator had en- 
--L tered was instantly his own. From his first ser- 
mon in the little chapel in Methodist Alley to the day 
his form lay in state in the Bethel, he neverceased to 
fill it with his presence, and control it by his genius. 
Those sermons of forty years none can gather up. For 
thirty years his house was thronged with eager hear- 
ers of every rank ; but, unfortunately, no stenographer 
took his place at the table to transmit those flashes 

128 



IN THE BETHEL. • 12U 

of genius to every eye. Even the prayers, in which 
more than almost any man's were 

" Thoughts' commercing with the skies," 

only leaped from lip to ear, and were forgotten or ero 
they were born. A very few of the most rich and 
tender expressions have survived ; the most died at 
tlieir birth. But as a quaint preacher, storming 
fiercely with voice and form at a camp-meeting, de- 
fended his gesticulations by saying, " Paul says, ' Bod- 
ily exercise profiteth Uttle,' but I go in for that little," 
so we must content ourselves with " the little " that 
is left to us of those 

" Rich words, every one 
Like the gold nails in temples to hang trophies on." 

Even these, as retained in the memorj' of his hearers, 
are chiefly brief, witty sentences, sharp hits, quick 
retorts, — sometimes as remarkable for oddity as for 
wit. He not only wrote out no sermons, his bright- 
est words were hardly even thought out. They were 
unpremeditated, parenthetical, — flashes of Hght not 
to be reported; often, from their wonderful succession, 
not to be remembered. 

'Perhaps no reported sentence is better than one 
with which he closed his description of a young man 
coming from the country full of good resolutions, 
stored with good lessons, and falling into one tempta- 
tion after another, till he had become a degraded cast- 
away. When he seemed to have reached the lowest 
'J 



130 ' FATHER TAYLOK. 

fiepth of horror, he added these words,, that thrilled 
the marrow of the bones : ." Hush ! shut the windows 
of heaven. He's cursing his mother ! " 

His manner no words can describe. Sometimes 
the expression of his face took the place not only of 
gestures, but of words. Thus after the death of 
Daniel Webster, he said, " Once, when the storm 
gathered, and the ship bowed under the fury of the 
wind, we looked toward the helm, and«we saw Web- 
ster there. ' All right, turn in : we can sleep in peace. 
Now there are mutterings in the air, a war-cloud 
across the sea: we turn out, we look' " — An ex- 
pression of blank dismay completed the unfinished 
sentence, and the church seemed to grow dark with 
the orator's despair. 

Once, when Jenny Lind attended services at the 
Bethel, Father Taylor, who did not know that she 
was present, was requested, as he entered the house, 
to preach on amusements. The church was crowded, 
and the pulpit and stairs were filled. The sermon 
opposed dancing, card-playing, theatre-going, but 
approved of music. The preacher paid a glow- 
ing tribute to the power of song, and to the good- 
ness, modesty, and charity of the sweetest of all sing- 
ers, " now lighted on these shores." Jenny Lind was 
leaning forward, and clapping her hands with delight, 
when a tall person rose on the pulpit stairs, and in- 
quired whether any one who died at one of Miss 
Lind's concerts would go to heaven. Disgust and 
contempt swept across Father Taylor's face, as he 
glared at the interloper. " A Christian will go to 



IN THE BETHEL. " 131 

lieaven wherever he dies ; and a fool will be a fool 
wherever he is, — even if he is on the steps of the 
pulpit." 

Commencing service once with the reading of the 
one hundred and twenty-second psalm, " I was glad 
wlien they said unto me, Let us go into the house 
of the Lord," he stopped and added, " So was I, 
David." 

He was once endeavoring to induce the congrega- 
tion to join with the choir in' sacred song. After 
some other arguments, he suddenly uttered this well- 
timed parody. " It is not 



' Praise God, from whom all blessings flow,' 
And not a morsel down below ; 



It is not, 

' Praise Him above, ye heavenly hosts,' 
And down below as dumb as posts." 

During the same service a sailor gave vent to his 
emotions in loud praises, which seemed to slightly 
embarrass Father Taylor ; so, leaning over the desk 
and stretching his finger toward the shouter, he 
lovingly said, " Keep still. Jack : we know your lat- 
itude and longitude." 

In describing certain mean kind of men, he said, 
" It would take more grace to save such a man than 
it would take skim -milk to fat an elephant." 

And again of a like character, " I would as soon 
undertake to heat an oven with snow-balls as to get 
such a man saved." 



132 FATHER TAYLOR. 

He allowed no interruptions in his service except 
such as he chose to make himself, no matttjr what the 
pretence. A come-outer, as some rejecters of Chris- 
tia,nity were called twenty years ago, went to . his 
church Sunday afternoon, rose, and began to address 
the assembly. 

" Sit down, sir," said Mr. Taylor. " I will do the 
talking here this afternoon." 

" No," said he. " I wish to speak." 

" You can't speak here to-day." 

" I must speak." 

" You can't speak." 

" The Holy Ghost sent me here, and gave me per- 
mission to speak here to-day." 

Father Taylor looked at him in his peculiar man- 
ner, and with a peculiar tone of voice said, " You 
will please give my compliments to the Holy Ghost, 
and tell him I say you can't speak here to-day. Sit 
down." 

No sooner said than done. The man sat down, 
was silent during the meeting, and never disturbed 
him again. 

Young ministers sometimes feared to preach before 
him, he was so sharp and amusing in his criticisms ; 
but there was never a tone of unldndness, unless 
there was a marked appearance of pretence about the 
man. A young man, in referring to the period be- 
tween the twelfth and thu-tieth years of the Saviour's 
life, remarked, that the Gospels were silent inrefepence 
to them,. but that probably he remained with his par- 
ents, following faithfully the trade of Joseph, as was the 



IN THE BETHEL. 133 

custom in Jewish families. " My Saviour never made 
a shaving ! " shouted Father Taylor, as the sermon 
closed, and he sprung to his feet. " He did not con- 
fine himself to this narrow home of his human na- 
ture, but" passed freely from his parents in Nazareth 
to his Father in heaven, during this period of eigh- 
teen years." 

Some thirty years ago, when swallow-tail coats 
were in vogue, one of that kind .came stalking into 
his church. Father Taylor called out to his sexton, 
" Steward, scow that man with a gaff-topsail jacket 
under the wing, and stow sailors under the hatches," 
that is, in the body of the house. " Sailors' hearts," 
he said, " were big as an ox's, open like a sunflower, 
and they carried them out in their right hand, read}' 
to give them avr-sy." He also said they were as " big 
as tobacco hogsheads," a more appropriate figure, con- 
sidering their habits. He liked this figure, and rang 
changes on it, saying, on another occasion, "Their 
nearts are as big and sweet as sugar hogsheads," by 
far the happiest expression of all. . On another occa- 
sion he said, " Sailors cut off the bottom of their pock- 
ets with a rum-bottle." 

Once he was describing a storm at sea, and a sailoi 
cried out, '- That's true, for I was in the same gale.' 
" Stop, Jack," he exclaimed, " stop till the captair. 
gets through, and you shall have your turn." X ^ 

On one occasion Father Taylor's pulpit was su])- 
plied by an ambitious young minister, who liad con- 
sideralile reputation as a pulpit orator, but whose ser- 
mons were not always the result of his own honest 



134 FATHER TAYLOR. 

labor. This sermon was the production of a distin- 
guished divine, and was recognized by the old man 
elo(|uent, who, offering the closing prayer, alluded 
to the sermon in terms of extravagant praise, and 
then amazed tlie audience and the mortified thief, as he 
closed with the exclamation, " But alas, Master ! for 
it was borrowed." That minister never heard the 
last of the " borrowed axe," and soon afterwards re- 
moved to a distant part of the country. 

Rev. Joseph Marsh relates two characteristic inci- 
dents. " At one time, when I was preaching for him, 
he rose at the conclusion of the sermon, and said, 
' If some things have been said that you don't under- 
stand, much has been said that you do understand: 
follow that.' " 

" At another time I concluded my prayer by repeat- 
ing as usual the Lord's Prayer, when he said to me, 
' How dare you repeat the Lord's Prayer after your 
poor prayer? • If you wished to repeat the Lord's 
Prayer, why did you not do that first ? ' " 

When an evangelical clergyman had visited his 
church from curiosity, and had declined a seat in 
the pulpit because it had been once occupied by Rev. 
Henry Ware, he fell on his knees, and made this brief 
prayer : " O Lord ! there are two things that we want 
to be delivered from in Boston, — one is bad rum, 
the other is religious bigotry. Which is worse. Thou 
knowest, and I don't. Amen." 

When one at camp-meeting excluded from salva- 
tion all Catholics, Unitarians, Universalists, all men 
who used tobacco, and all women who wore jewelry, 



IN THE BETHEL. 135 

Father Taylor broke out, "If that is tiiie, Christ's 
mission was a failure. It's a pity he came." " The 
shipwrecked, perishing sailor," he said, " doesn't crit- 
icise the vessel that saves him, to see whether she is 
bark-rigged or sloop-rigged." At another time he 
said of such friends, " They sail under a different 
flag, but with the same Commander." 

Much has been said and written of Father Tay- 
lor's liberality to other sects. But by repeating a 
few kind and hearty speeches, and by forgetting 
the whole burden of his preaching, he has been 
represented as wholly indifferent to forms of be- 
lief, as so charitable to other denominations that 
he was hardly true to his own. Such writers and 
speakers forget the general tenor of his opinions. 
The}' forget to allow for his impulsive speech, which 
stated a half-truth as if it were the whole, and laid 
down each proposition without exception, condition, 
or limitation. They forget also that he allowed him- 
self to think freely on points generally regarded as 
well settled; that he often thought aloud ; and that 
he would state one position reached in the process 
of his thought, as if it were the conclusion of the 
whole matter. Thus he once asked a casual visitor 
how far apart he supposed heaven and hell to be. 
The reply was some coinmonplace about the great 
gulf between them. " I tell you," said he, " they 
are so near, that myriads of souls to-day don't know 
which they are in." 

But this was by no means the creed that he pro- 
fessed, or the style of his general teaching. Had 



136 FATHER TAYLOR. 

his own phrase been used by a brother preacher, it 
would have been objected to and corrected before the 
benediction was pronounced. Or, perhaps, none 
would have been pronounced by him. For his jun- 
ior pastor remarked, " I once preached a metapliysical 
sermon, and Father Taylor didn't like it. 1 knew he 
didn't like it, for he wouldn't give the benediction." 

Father Taylor was not only a Christian, he was a 
Methodist, — an old-fashioned, shouting, " hallelu- 
jah Methodist ; " and he gloried in the name. And 
when all the proper courtesies had been paid to his 
opponents, and the graceful compliment had been 
given, and the courtly bow had been made, then he 
was ready to unsheathe the sword, and to strike home 
for the truth, which, as he believed, was once deliv- 
ered to the saints. Those do not know him who 
think that his theology was what Emerson calls, " a 
mush of concession." It was positive, aggressive, 
violent; and when it was attacked or slurred he could 
develop an infinite capacity for wrath. In the good- 
ness of his heart he was slow to admit that any of 
his personal friends held any fatal error. He had 
strong confidence that the faith of many men was 
better than their profession of it. But his own faith, 
every word of it, was prized by him above all earthly 
things. 

One of the anecdotes related of Chief- Justice Par- 
sons is., that he was onCe reproached because the 
people of Newburyport, his home, were always quar- 
relling about religion. His reply was, " The people 
of Newburyport think their religion is worth quarrel- 



IN THE BETHEL. 137 

ling about." In this respect, Father Taylor agreed 
with him. We have given specimens of the wit and 
sarcasm with which he attacked wliat he considered 
bigotry ; but no less fearful was the invective with 
whicli he assailed unbelief. Speaking of Theodore 
Parker, he once said, " This man says, ' We must 
destroy the Bible!' Destroy this book,'' placing it 
under his arm, and pattiiig its leaves, as he paced 
up and down the pulpit, — " destroy this book. Before 
. he has marred the gilding on one of its pages, that 
man will have been in hell so long that he won't 
recollect that he was ever out of it." 

Whoever heard the blazing malediction, and saw 
the uction of the old commander, as he walked his 
quarter-deck, caressing the book, and saw, too, the 
glare of his eyes, as he thundered out the sentence, 
lias not forgotten his. tone and manner and look : all 
said, " I do well to be angry." It is a specimen of 
thousands, which showed that wrath as well as love 
was known in Father Taylor's theology. 

So, too, he said in a sermon upon Universalism, 
" ' The wicked shall be turned into hell.' God said 
bhat. How many piping pettifoggers -of Satan will 
you set against bis word ? Voltaire," — bending for- 
ward, and looking down, — " Voltaire, what do you 
think about it now ? " 

Some twenty years ago he was illustrating the just 
retribution of the sinner by the fact of one of the 
forty-nine gamblers arrested in Boston by City-Mar- 
shal Tukey, who made his escape, and afterwards sent 
back to the marslial the handcuffs, saying " he had 



138 FATHER TAYLOR. 

no more use for the jewels, the beautiful ornaments, 
&c.," who, a few days afterwards, in crossing Chelsea 
Ferry, fell overboard and was drowned. 

"But," said Father Taylor, raising his voice, 
" where is he now ? where is he now ? " 

" Gone to the Devil," replied a sailor in the coa- 
gregation. The old man leaniug over the desk, and 
fixing his keen eye upon him as no other man could, 
and pointing with his finger, exclaimed, "Farther 
than that ! farther than that ! and where you will go 
soon, if you don't repent." 

Yet this fervency for truth did not prevent him 
from loving Hosea Ballou, nor from welcoming Thom- 
as Whittemore to his conference meeting. To re- 
quire an impulsive, untrained, and erratic genius to 
maintain logical consistency at all times would be as 
reasonable as to expect the ocean to preserve the same 
unchanging surface in all winds and weather. Espe- 
cially when his position as pastor of a denomination- 
less church drove him on this path of his own 
desires. 

Rev. Dr. Cornell, in '■' The Pastor and People," 
gives an illustration of this hyper-catholicity of cen- 
sure as well as praise : — 

" Rev. Dr. Wise of New York, was stationed in 
Quincy when their new church was to be dedicated, 
and he invited Father Taylor to preach the sermon. 
All the clergymen of the town were present in full 
force, — Father Whitney, the Unitarian, and his col- 
league, Mr. Lunt, the Episcopal clergyman, myself, 
a Calvinist, the Baptist minister, then on the Quincy 



IN THE BETHEL. 139 

side, at Neponset, the Universalist, and the Restora- 
tionist from the railway village. 

"Father Taylor commenced his sermon, aad felt it 
to be his duty to take us all to task for our various 
errors and peculiar notions. Commencing -with Fa- 
ther Whitney, as was meet, he being the oldest min- 
ister present, and addressing himself to Mr. Wise, 
he said, ' My brother, preach the depravity, the nat- 
ural wickedness, -of man. Some make him very good 
by nature, and think there is no devil in him. But 
there is. Dress him up ever so much, make him 
ever so learned, adorn him in all the robes of po- 
liteness, and all the refinement of the most polished 
society of the most ornamented age of the world, 
and j'ou cannot make him good. Oh, no ! you have 
only to pull off the winding-sheet, and there he is, 
poor, weak, sinful human nature still.' Thus much 
for Father Whitney and his colleague. 

" When he started on a new denomination, he again 
directed his address to Mr. Wise by saying, ' My 
brother,' — here he took the Universalist ; he was of 
the then modern school of Mr. Ballou, as he believed 
in no future judgment, — ' my brother,' said he, 
'preach the judgment, a future judgment. For my 
part, I never could see why any man should bo 
afraid or ashamed to preach it.' There sat the 
Universalist minister in the pulpit, within his reach. 
But he did not spare him. 

" It was now my turn. ' My brother, preach free 
agency. Don't be a fatalist. Some ministers preach 
fatalism ; tie men's hands behind their backs, and 



tiO FATHER TAYLOR. 

then tell them to work ; tie their feet together, and 
then tell them- to walk. Don't preach that ; don't 
make the Almighty decree every thing from all eter- 
nity, and then call on man to break the decree. 
Preach man's free will. Whoever heard of any will 
but a free will ? ' As we supposed this was meant 
for us, we laid it to heart ; and, though we did not 
admit this to be a true exhibit of anj"^ Calvinism, it 
was Father Taylor's view of it. 

" Here he took the Episcopal minister. ' My 
brother, keep your pulpit-doors open. Some minis- 
ters sliut them against every minister except one 
of their own stripe. Don't do that. If I could have 
my will, there never should be a pulpit-door in the 
land. There are no doors to my pulpit, and so none 
can be shut.' 

"Next he took the Baptist. 'My brother, preach 
baptism. It is an ordinance of God. Baptize the 
converted ; but don't make baptism all the gospel. 
Don't make water every thing. There are other ele- 
ments in the world besides water; and there are 
other things in the gospel besides baptism, though 
some ministers never see any thing there but baptism. 
Don't make dipping all your gospel.' 

" Then came the Restorationist. ' My brother, 
preach future punishment. " The wicked shall be 
turned into hell, and all the nations that forget God." 
Leave them there, my brother, where the Bible does, 
and let any minister get them out who can. But 
don't you try it.' 

" Having thus laid us all on the beach, stranded high 



IN THF.. BETlLKh. 141 

and dry, he took another tack, — showed his catho- 
licity, and spread his wide mantle of charity over us 
all, and said, ' This is one of the most blessed seasons 
I ever enjoyed. Indeed, I have never seen but iiue 
like it, and that was when my own church was dedi- 
cated. Then we had all the stripes in the Union . 
and, bless the Lord ! we've got them' all now.' 

" This account, which we vouch for as true, should 
silence the stories floating about, that ' Father Taylor 
had no rigidity in his creed, but was a mere wit.' 
He was rigid enough in that wonderful sermon to cut 
and slash us all, to spare none but his brother Meth- 
odist ; and then he was charitable enough to throw 
his long arms around us all, and give us a real Meth- 
odist hug, a genuine John Wesley ' love-feast,' and 
assure us that ' during his wliole ministry he had 
never had but one such glorious time before.' 

" His sparing none of us, not a whit ; his leaving us 
high and dry, where even a 'spring tide' could 
never reach us ; his applying his rebiike to all of us, 
— Unitarian, Orthodox, Episcopal, Baptist, Method- 
ist, and Restorationist : then the contrast, — the 
fearful scowl changing to a beaming smile ; that ven- 
geance-luring countenance becoming a fascinating 
^'enus ; those long arms, that had just been plunging 
us in what he believed the deep-sea of our flouhder- 
ings, stretched out to draw us to his bosom ; and 
then that wiry, supple form (a perfect hickory 
withe) bending forward to rescue- us from the briny 
deluge he had just poured upon us, all so graphic, all 
acted out so pantomimic, as would have thrown Mr. 



142 FATHER TAYLOK. 

Gough and the finest actors far into the shade, pre- 
sented one of the most dramatic scenes ever wit- 
nessed. 

" When arraying our heresies before us, his wrin- 
kled countenance was the nearest to that of a demon 
(if a demon has a countenance) that we could im- 
agine ; and, when his charity took us into Christian 
fellowship, angelic beauty beamed from his eyes, and 
the most affectionate salutation of brotherly love 
flowed from his tongue, so that we were all ready to 
exclaim, — 

' From whence doth this union arise ? ' 

" All this showed the wonderful power of this un- 
learned man ; and all tends to approve" what we have 
often advocated and recommended to young clergy- 
men, — the cultivation of a habit of extemporaneous 
preaching, which an admirable Christian paper digni- 
fies by the name of ' egotistical twaddle ' ! Father 
Taylor never preached a written sermon, never knew 
how to write one, would have been shorn of his 
strength if he had undertaken it. His sermons were 
the brilliant efforts of an active brain, a warm heart, 
and a fervent love, on the spur of the occasion." 

A further illustration of this excessive liberality is 
this incident, related by T, W. Silloway : — ;■ 

" On a pleasant summer daj'', not far from tlie 
lime just named, the board of directors of the alms- 
house at Deer Island in Boston Harbor invited clergy- 
men and others, to visit the institution. Some three 
or four hundred perhaps went in the party by steam- 



IN THE BETHEL. 143 

er, among them Father Taylor. After the collation 
a clergyman of each of the leading denominations 
was asked to speak. I think Rev. Mr. Mallalieu 
spoke for the Methodists ; Baptists, Unitarians, Uni- 
versalists, Congregationalists, and even Gatholics, 
were represented. ■ At the close, and as we passed out, 
Father Taylor was delighted. Rubbing his hands, he 
said, ' What a glorious mixing-up of affairs ! Old big- 
otry topples, and the wall falls down ; the Devil lias 
got tipped end over end, and it will take weeks for him 
to get righted again.'" 

Spieaking of this fast age, and fast men, he said, 
" If it were possible they would be glad to put spurs 
to lightning, and blow a trumpet in the ear of thun- 
der." 

Preaching once on over-nice distinctions in theol- 
ogy, he said, " There are persons who think they 
have all the truth, when they are themselves a skel- 
eton of poverty. They have only the stem-end of 
a cucumber, too bitter for sensible persons to eat, 
and by them thrown away.' 

In the same discourse he said, " Some people 
think they are saints. If they could see themselves 
as the just in glory see them, they wouldn't dare to 
look a decent devil in the face." 

Soon aftei: he commenced his sermon on a very hot 
day, two or three of the landsmen got up and went 
out. He paused, folded his arms, and said, " If any 
others wish to go out, let them go now, while I wait 
a moment." No one went, and he resumed his ser- 
mon. About ten minutes after, a sailor rose up with 



144 FATHEK TAYLOK. 

his? jacket on his arm (the most of the sailors wero 
sitting in their shirt-sleeves) and said, " Please, sir, I 
must go now; I wanted to stay as long as I could: 
my ship is all ready for sea, and I must be on board 
at the hour." Father Taylor, with the elbow of his 
right arm resting in the palm of his left hand, with 
his finger on his lip, said, as the sailor turned to 
leave the house, " That's right, my sou ! you have 
done just right: you are the man for me, you are a 
minute-man. Go, and the God of the sea go with 
you." And he continued his preaching with re- 
doubled power. And, at the close, such a pi'ayer 
was made for that sailor and that ship, and all sailors 
and all ships, that it seemed as if it would convert the 
abundance of the sea to God — and it will yet. 

He was not always merely amusing, nor did he 
speak such words with that purpose'. He could be 
as earnest and solemn in his brief appeals as in -his 
longest sermons. Thus, after a powerful sermon bj'' 
his son-in-law. Rev. J. W. F. Barnes, who closed 
with entreating sinners to come now to the Saviour, 
a sailor, half intoxicated, cried out, " I will "come to- 
morrow, shure." Father Taylor looked at' him a mo- 
ment and answered, " God grant that you may come 
lo-night. T have seen men more drunk than you con- 
verted right here at this altar." 

Father Taylor loved the Baptists, and never for- 
got that it was a Baptist clei-gyman who befriend- 
ed him in Halifax jail. Rev. Dr. R. H. Neale was 
his i-utimate friend for quarter of a century. But 
when twenty or thirty sailors, converted at Father 



IK THJS BETHEt,. 145 

Taylor's Bethel, joined Rev. Phineas Stowe's church 
by immersion, he was a little annoyed, and showed it in 
his own way. It was extremely cold weather, and the 
water in Mr. Stowe's baptismal tank had been arti- 
ficially warmed. Father Taylor, meeting one of his 
converts, inquired why he had gone away from his 
Bethel. " Ah," said the sailor, , " I didn't feel that I 
could be in the fold, unless I went down into Jor- 
dan." " Into Jordan," said the old man, with a con- 
suming sneer, "-biled Jordan ! " 

Mr. Taylor was on intimate and friendly relations 
with Catholic priests, as well as with pastors of other 
Protestant churches. He enjoyed many pleasant in 
terviews with Bishop Fitzpatrick, ai;id was a fellow 
laborer with Father Haskins among the poor and 
neglected children of the North End. But when the 
Papacy was discussed, or when " salvation by faith" 
was brought in question, or when the Bible in the 
schools was threatened, it soon appeared that he was 
a Protestant, " not from indifference, but from zeal." 

No man ever loved better the methods of the fol- 
lowers of Wesley. No preacher ever demanded 
more earnestly the public profession, the request for 
prayers, the immediate submission. And no subject 
was so frequently or so powerfully enforced as his 
almost constant theme in prayer-meeting : " Delay is 
denial." 

Those who heard him dwell upon the essential 
doctrines of evangelical religion have sometimes been 
tempted to believe that his intimacy with eminent non- 
Evangelical clergymen was prompted by the motives 
10 



146 FATHEK TAYLOR. 

that once inspired a noted Calvinist minister of Mar- 
blehead. The good man had shut himself in his 
study on Saturday, leaving a message with the ser- 
vant, that the Apostle Paul should not be admitted, 
if he called. Dr. Bentley, a well-known Sociiiiau 
preacher of Salem, did call, and, disregarding the 
message, pushed in, and spent the afternoon. At 
last, rising to leave, he said, " Well, you gave orders 
that St. Paul should not be allowed to come in, but 
I have had two pleasant hours of your company." 
" Certainly, Brother Bentley : I expect to spend a 
blessed eternity with St. Paul ; but, when you and I 
part on earth, it is good-by forever." So, it has been 
suspected that Father Taylor meant to make sure of 
certain good company in this world, at least. 

How he appeared on this throne of his power is 
thus described by Rev. Dr. Charles Adams : — 

" One Sabbath afternoon, in my youth, I stole into 
that church, and nestled amid the crowd. Closely 
seated along the wall-slips, on either side, were the 
' common folks ; ' while in the central area, from pul- 
pit to the entrance doors, sat the sailor throng, dense 
and weather-beaten, yet, withal, of grave and re- 
spectful aspect and demeanor. Presently entered tlie 
minister, and advanced with steady step along the 
aisle. He was doubly spectacled, his glasses hang- 
ing low upon his nose, and his keen eyes glancing 
above them as he walked qiiietly toward his plac.e. 
Ascending the open pulpit, he was in no haste to sit, 
but stood peering over those spectacles as if survey- 
ing minutely the crowded assembly. Everj'- seat was 



IN THE BETHEL. 147 

filled , but a company of mariners was still standing 
at the doors, and with that peculiar and commanding 
voice of his he bade them come forward ; and, as thej' 
came, he ranged them along the pulpit, spread them 
over the steps on either side, and in whatever other 
vacant places there were ; and, when all was ready, 
the exercises of worship commenced, and such man- 
ner of exercises as the memory of thousands will re- 
call." 

On one occasion he was launching out his anathe- 
mas against violence and cruelty. " Don't talk to me," 
said he, " of the savages ! A ruffian in the midst of 
Christendom is the savage of savages. He is a man 
freezing in the sun's heat, groping in the sun's light, 
a straggler in paradise, an alien in heaven." 

Alluding to the carelessness of Christians, he used 
the figure of a mariner, steering into port through a 
narrow, dangerous channel, " false lights here, rocks 
there, shifting sandbanks on one side, breakers on the 
other ; and who, instead of fixing his attention to 
keep the head of his vessel right, and to obey the in- 
structions of the pilot as he sings out from the wheel, 
throws the pilot overboard, lashes down the helm, and 
walks the deck, whistling, with his hands in the pock- 
ets of his jacket." Here, suiting the action to the 
word, he put on a true sailor-like look of defiant 
jollity, — changed in a moment to an expression of 
horror as he added, " See, see ! she drifts to destruc- 
tion ! " 

Oixe Sunday he attempted to give to his sailor con- 
gregation an idea of redemption. He began with an 



148 FATHER TAYLOR. 

eloquent description of a terrific storm at sea, rising, 
to fury through all its gradations : then, amid • the 
waves, a vessel is seen laboring in distress, and dri-vdng 
on a lee shore. The masts bend and break, and go 
overboard; the sails are rent, the helm unshipped. 
They spring a leak ! the vessel begins to fill, the water 
gains on them : she sinks deeper, deeper, deeper, 
deeper! He bent over the pulpit, repeating the last 
words again and again : his voice became low and 
hollow. The faces of the sailors, as they gazed up at 
him, with their mouths wide open and their eyes 
fixed, 'I shall never forget. Suddenly stopping, and 
looking to the farthest end of the chapel, as into 
space, he exclaimed, with a piercing cry of exultation, 
"A life-boat! a life-boat!" Then, looking down 
u[)on his congregation, most of whom had sprung to 
their feet in an ecstasy of suspense, he said in a deep, 
impressive tone, and extending his arms, " Christ is 
that Ufe-boat ! " * 

On one occasion, preaching from the text of St. 
Paul, " I have fought a good fight, I have finished my 
course, have kept the faith: henceforth there is laid 
up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, 
the righteous Judge, shall give me at that day ; and not 
to me only, but unto all them also that love his ap- 
pearing," he suddenly stopped, and, looking up to 
heaven, cried with a loud voice, " Paul ! are there any 
more crowns there ? " He paused again. Then, cast- 
ing his eyes upon the congregation, he continued, 
"Yes, my brethren, there are more crowns left. 
They are not all taken up yet. Blessed be God i 

♦ The three last incidents aiu narrated by Mrs. Jameson. See page a05. 



IN THE BETHEL. 149 

there is one for me, and one for all of you, who love 
the appearing of the Lord Jesus Christ." 

Such sermons were not chance efforts, if they were 
extemporaneous. They were carefully wrought out 
after his fashion, more by keeping the soil up to its 
fruitful pitch than by especial and elaborate prepara- 
tion. One of his associates in the department of the 
Mariner's House says that he would drift into the 
study on Saturday nights and hear him talk on every 
sort of topic until midnight, thus getting up his steam 
for the trip of the morrow. It was the excitation of 
his mind generally, and not the especial study on any 
especial theme, which constituted his chief preparation. 

The steam on, the vessel can take any course it 
pleases. The course was chosen with the text, and 
under its^ bearings he moved off splendidly to his task. 
On these field-days he would change his linen com- 
pletely after every service, so thoroughly was he 
wet to the skin by the intense activity of his spirit, 
struggling with the spirits before him for their ever- 
lasting salvation. 

Dr. Waterston describes his preaching in these 
words, in an article contributed to the "Boatswain's ' 
Whistle," a paper published in connection with a 
Seaman's Fair. 

" In his able address at the opening of the Fair, 
Mr. Everett said (as his eye rested upon Father Tay- 
lor), ' He is himself a walking Bethel ; ' while the 
hearty response of the great multitude there assem- 
bled proved how profoundly that just tribute was 
appreciated. 



150 FATHER TAYLOR. 

" At this time, wlien so many earnest minds are 
engaged in generous efforts for tlie seamen of our 
navy, it is pleasant to dwell in thought upon the life 
of one who has devoted his days to the welfare of the 
sailor. 

" It is now between thirty-five and forty years 
(how swiftly time flies !) since I first heard Father 
Taylor. He was then but little known, except 
among the seamen, who by instinct gathered around 
him ; for every sailor who listened to him instantly 
communicated the fact to every other seafaring man 
who came in his way, that here was a wonderful be- 
ing who could meet every want of their nature. 
Familiar with the ocean in all its aspects, he could, 
at pleasure, cause its glory or its gloom to pass before 
the mind, making the entranced hearer feel, by his 
graphic descriptions, the peacefulness of the great 
sea when hushed in calm, or its fury when smitten 
by the tempest. The sailor also he knew in all the 
traits of his character, — his childlike sensibility and 
his intrepid courage. 

" And the ship, how he could describe every move- 
ment, making you feel (seated amid the press of a 
sabbath congregation) that you were rocking amid 
the waves. Have we not heard, as we listened, the 
war of the surges, and smelt the salt sea air ? One 
day, as he was describing a storm, the sailors became 
wrought up to the highest pitch of excitement, until 
one, tliinking that all would certainly go down un- 
less something were instantly done for the rescue, 
shouted with intense earnestness, ' Out with the long- 
boat I ' " 



IX THE BETHEL. 151 

" The first time I heard this remarkable preacher 
was in aa old building in one of the obscurest lanes of 
the city. That was his church. It was closely packed 
in every part with sailors, many in their red shirts, ■ 
just as they had come into port. Every' seat was in 
demand. The aisles. were crowded, and the pulpit 
stand, up to the very top, while all gazed witli breath- 
less interest upon the one man who held them as by 
a spell. Just as he felt, they felt. Was he playful, 
they smiled ; was he pathetic, they wept ; was he 
swept along by the tide of his eloquence, they kin- 
dled into enthusiasm. Every heartstring vibrated 
under the touch of his hand." 

Sometimes the ludicrous image followed the 
serious and pathetic in his address. But generally 
a playful or comical sentence was the prelude to some 
moving exhortation or some searching attack. The 
stranger who smiled or laughed at the quaint con- 
ceits of the sailor-preacher expected to have a good 
time, and to go home with an undisturbed conscience. 
He little knew his man. These oddities and witti- 
cisms were but the skirmishers that masked the main 
attack, and broke the adversary's line before the 
heavy columns of the old general should be hurled 
upon it. The preacher had never read that laughter 
is the best preparation for te.irs, but genius .had 
laught him the lesson ; and his rarest wit was but the 
ambush for his most powerful assaults. Some of this 
great orator's sayings seem irreverent, as repeated 
out of their connection, and without any knowledge 
of their effect. They did not seem so .to one, who, 



152 FATHER TAYLOR. 

after hearing the whole discourse, went home trem- 
bling, or cast himself at the altar with prayers for sal- 
vation. " I am always afraid when I am laughing 
at Father Taylor's wit," said a man of wit. " I know 
he will make me cry before he has done with me." 
To judge Father Taylor's oratory by single, detached, 
ludicrous expressions, is like judging the awful trage- 
dies of Shakspeare by a sentence from the mouth of 
one of his clowns. 

Whether he laughed or wept, whether he used 
sarcasm or pathos, he had that quality in oratory 
which is above aU art, he forgot himself in his de- 
termination to enforce upon his hearers the truth 
which he loved. And all his powers of eloquence, 
wit, humor, pathos, were consecrated by their entire 
devotion to the service of his Lord. 



IL 



IN THE BETHEL PRAYER-MEETING. 

A. Methodist Prayer-Meeting in JJew England, — Its Liberty of Praying, Proph- 
esying, and Praising. — How it became and how it is conducted. — Hia 
Ministerial Easy-Chair. — "Hit him 'tween the Eyes." — Fishing for Pearls. 
— The Three Hebrews. — " The Devil heaved Overboard, Stock and Fluke." 
— "Salvation set to Music." — " Old North of Europe." — " Pure Hebrew." — 
The Up-towner rebuked. — " Stale Bread." — " Ijubricate." — Blowing 
away Chaff. — The Last Squab. — An Old Sinner's Tears. — "A Summer 
Shower." — " No Laughing in Hell." — " Melt that Snow." — " Rain in that 
Cloud." — " Red Cedar." — " Set Fire to that Wood." — Lightest Stuff floats 
First. — Little Barrels soonest filled. — " Devil never chases Chaff." — " Give 
us Point." — The Medicine-Chest. — "Quarrel with your Sins." — The Tin- 
tler-Box. — The Archbishop of Canterbury. — No Wedding Q-arment, and 
Why. — "Blue-Mould Manna." — "Give her Sheetl" — "Look out for tl.e 
Lights I" — Working to the Windward of the Devil. ^ A Constant Re- 
vival.- The Old Sailor's Rebuke of the SwearingMerchant. — Nine-o'clock 
Christians. ■ 

IF the Bethel pulpit was a free place, the Bethel 
prayer-meeting was far more free. Here liberty 
had free course to run and be glorified. The word 
"prayer-meeting" doesnotexpressthefact. That sug 
gests a gathering exclusively for prayer. Such it is 
in his church out of New England. Such it was in 
most churches except the Methodist. But when the 
Methodists entered New England, to gain a foothold, 
they had to yield something to the prejudices of the 
people. Here, as everywhere, were set ways. One of 

153 



154 . . FATHER TAYLOR. 

these ways was two sermons together to the same 
congregation : another was pews owned by the oc- 
cupants. To gain the people to them, they had to 
surrender these two points to them, — allow them the 
ownership of their pews, and two sermons a da3^ 
The last prevented the flour ishing of the circuit sys- 
tem on her soil. It also prevented the development 
of the local-preacher system ; for the people demand- 
ed a settled minister, or as near that as they could 
get under an itinerancy. To accommodate them, the 
sabbath-evening prayer-meeting was invented, — a 
meeting for a long time peculiar to New-England 
Methodists, and wliich drew, and yet draws, larger 
audiences steadily to its ministrations than the Sun- 
day-evening preaching of other sections, or than any 
other form of sabbath-evening assemblage. 

These meetings consisted of two or four short 
prayers and a dozen or twenty short exhortations or 
" testimonies," interspersed frequently with a verse 
of animated song, and concluding usually with an in- 
vitation to penitents to come forward to the front 
seats, or the rail enclosing the broad platform, and 
called an altar, that they may be prayed with, and 
led into the kingdom of Christ and peace. In the 
olden times, this platform, always spacious, was filled 
with the leading laymen of the church. They, to- 
day, generally leave it to the minister. 

The preacher and his la}- associates gather in the 
railed enclosure. The house is crowded with saints, 
seekers, and sinners. The service begins with a 
cheerful hymn, sung " lustily " to a cheerful tune. 



IN THE BETHEL PEAYEE-MEETING. 155 

The minister prays, or calls on one of his brethren. 
Two earnest prayers, and another short hymn is sung. 
Again two pray, and again an animated and animat- 
ing song. Then a rapid succession of -warm addresses, 
followed by warmer invitations put into sacred song, 
and the hour flies swift around to nine o'clock, and 
the end. 

The freedom of such a meeting, its warmth, its 
rapidity, its consummation in invitations to seekers, 
their acceptance in prayer, and praise, combined to 
give it pre-eminence over any other regular religious 
meeting. The stiff formalism of the papal service, 
like ice to the frozen spectator, making him chillier 
by its superabounding chilliness ; the long and largely 
intellectual services of the Puritan worship, rational to 
the verge of irrationalism ; even the warmer pleadings 
of warmer pulpits, all fade into unattractiveness before 
the "hearty," social freedom and joy of a Methodist 
prayer-meeting. If it can be held to the old pitch 
of liberty and life, it will bring the world to its holy 
feasts. It makes every participant exclaim, — 

" Blest Jesus, what delicious fare ! 
How sweet thine entertainments are 1 " 

In such meetings Father Taylor would naturally 
revel. He had preached his two sermons, wringing 
himself dry with a change of linen ; he was nervous, 
rejoicing to run a race, and, though tired, ready for a 
change in his work, and glad to throw off even the 
limited restraints of his pulpit for the broad liberty 



156 FATHER TAYLOR. 

of the prayer-meeting. It was his professional easy- 
chair, and from it went forth ceaseless pleading, wit. 
and power. The room is crowded. It is low, but large. 
Sailors are there (^ lost girls from its own neighbor- 
hood, come, as he tells them, " to steal away his sons 
of Zebulon;7 lost men, up-town grandees, many 
yet unfallen^youth ; and his own " ring " of men and 
women, full of heart and hope. 

He walks his broader d«ck with glad heart and 
free. He interjects his word of criticism or com- 
mendation with every speech of his brethren and 
sisters as his spirit dictates. He warms into exhorta- 
tion and entreaty, and brings many g, strange Caliban 
from the back seats to " the altar," by his skilful fish- 
ing for men. Here he builds up his church, and 
gains most of his trophies of ministerial honor and 
reward. 

A prayer-meeting in the Bethel vestry, or, as it 
was called, " the old work-shop," was unlike, there- 
fore, any other prayer-meeting even ; for there were 
gathered men from all parts of the world, drawn, 
some by curiosity, some by- associations, some by 
grateful recollections of the past. Many would speak 
at these meetings whose broken English and uncouth 
phrases showed their foreign birth and rough train- 
ing. No one who heard will ever forget the native 
of Portugal who exclaimed, " If any man say I no 
love the Lord Jesus, I hit him 'tween the eyes." But 
more frequently the broken speech of these wayfaring 
men was used to tell a story of sorrow and suffering, 
ending witli a chance visit to the Bethel, where the 



1I< THE BETHEL PEAYEE-MEETINO. 157 

wanderer found a hope, a faith, and a Friend, that 
had never left him on sea or land. Father Tayloi 
would glow with pride over these trophies, weep Avith 
joy, and break out in exclamaltions of delight : " See," 
he would say, " see the amber that is thrown on the 
shore ; look at the pearls that come from the ocean, — 
jewels fil. to adorn the Saviour's diadem when he 
shall ride over the sea to judge the earth." 

There were gathered around him a body of men and 
women almost as remarkable as himself. First amonc; 
them was his wife, whose stately form and beautiful 
features, with her sweet voice, added grace to her 
powerful exhortations. Many a sailor boasts that 
he owes his renewed life to "Mother Taylor's" influ- 
ence. 

Then came what he called his Three Hebrews, — 
three brethren of sturdy make, of foreign blood, of 
strong faith, simple character, clear utterance, who 
knew the sailor as a boatsvi^ain knows his whistle, and 
whose exhortations always told on the mixed, rougli 
crowd that gathered in the meeting. Each of them 
had a special experience. The first of these, Mat- 
thew Crafts, was a Swede. He had been a very " hard 
case." Telling the story of his conversion once, he 
said, " When I rose up to go forward, the Lord told 
me to go, and the Devil not to. I went ; but I didn't 
rest on that, but went home and prayed all night, and 
the Lord converted my soul. The Devil told me I was 
good enough ; but I heaved the Devil overboard, 
stock and flulce, and have no more to do with him." 
Father Taylor breaks out, " That's salvation set to 



158 FATHER TAYLOR. 

music ; " and " Salvation set to Music " was Brothei 
Ciafts's name from that day forward. " Stock and 
fluke " refer to the manner of casting out an anchor 
clear and entire and sudden. So the Devil was 
" heaved out " of the new St. Matthew, and went to 
the bottomless pit, never to, return again to this old 
sailor's converted soul. 

Andrew Newlands was another of the Hebrews. 
He was also a Swede, converted under Father Tajdor 
at Bristol, and a member at the Bethel. He said, " I 
went to hear Brudder Taylor preach, andde Lord got 
hold of me. Brudder Thomas, he was from France, 
and I was from Sweden, and we diden get no relief 
dere, and we come home, and we went to pray : Brud- 
der Thomas went at it in French, and I went at it in 
Swedish, and de Lord converted us both on de spot." 
"Well done. Old North of Europe !" breaks out 
Father Taylor ; and that was his name unto this day. 
Telling this on another occasion, and saying, "The 
Lord heard us both," " Just like him ! " cries out- 
the Captain from his deck. 

Another, who still survives, always quoted the 
Psalms in broken English. When he had been re- 
peating many verses, and " an audible smile " was per- 
vading the audience. Father Taylor called out, " Pure 
Hebrew ! " This became the title by which he was 
often addressed, and called up to testify of his faith. 

Father Taylor's ejaculations in prayer-meeting were 
Dot always so flattering. Every oae has heard of the 
wealthy gentleman, who, in the midst of a very warm 
meeting, made a speech, telling the sailors how much 



IN THIS BETHEL PEAYEE-MEETING. 159 

had been done for them, and how grateful they ought 
to be to the liberal merchants for all their goodness. 
As he sat down, with a feeling that the church would 
run itself for the year on this condescension, he was 
bi.rprised by the inquiry, " Is there any other old sin- 
ner from up in town, who would like to say a word 
before we go on with the meeting ? " 

A visitor who was telling at a meeting an appro- 
priate anecdote, which had appeared in all the reli- 
gious newspapers of the country, was startled by 
Father Taylor's sighing out, " Lord, deliver us from 
stale bread ! " 

And still another, who was slow and dry in speech, 
was encouraged by the prayer, " Lubricate, Lord, lu- 
bricate." 

One of his most remarkable displays of this kind 
was after an address by a visitor who related the 
death of a very wicked man, a hardened sinner, who 
was blown up a few days before in one of his own 
powder-mills at Wilmington : he came down all 
crushed and mangled, and gave his heart to God ; 
and now who would not say with the holy man o^ 
old, " Let me die the death of the righteous, and 
let my last end be like his"? Father Taylor rose at 
once : " I don't want any such trash brought unto 
this altar. I hope none of my people calculate on 
Boiwing the Devil all their lives, and cheating him 
with their dying breath. Don't look forward to honor- 
ing God by giving him the last snuff of an expiring 
candle. Perhaps you will Tiever be blown up in a 
powder-mill. That 'holy man,' " he continued, " that 



IGO FATHER TAYLOR. 

we have heard spoken of, was Balaam, the meanesi 
scoundrel mentioned in the Old Testament or the 
New. And now I hope we never shall hear any thing 
more from Balaam, nor from his ass." 

Sometimes Father Taylor's mirthfulness led him to 
use expressions that seem out of place when repeated 
in cold blood, and especially when printed. But, in 
the warmth of a good prayer-meeting, nothing seemed 
out of place that was seasoned with the love of man. 
Smiles and tears were wonderfuly mingled at that 
altar. When the daughter of his esteemed friend, 
Mr. Pigeon, came forward for prayers, Father Taylor 
cried out, " Lord, sweep every squab off the roost." 
When an impulsive old gentleman, an utter stranger 
at the Bethel, shed tears at a moving appeal, Father 
Taylor turned toward him with these words : " Cry 
away, you white-headed sinner : it won't hurt you. 
Summer showers are soon dried up. You'll forget it 
in five minutes." The stranger, who was there at the 
invitation of one who communicates this incident, 
gasped out, " How did he know about me ? Have 
you been telling him ? " Nor was this the only 
illustration of his power to read character at a 
glance. 

Such familiarity resulted sometimes more happily. 
A German, laughing in the meeting, displeased " the ' 
Commodore," and he cried out, " There's no laugh- 
ing in hell ! " The man left, carrying with him that 
arrow. He went to sea and to Baltimore, and was 
converted. After being absent seven years, he re- 
turned and told the stoi'y and its result. That " word 



IK THE BETHEL PRAYEK-MlSETING. IGl 

ol" the wise was as a goad, and as a nail fastened in 
a sure place." 

He was always anxious that these meetings should 
be entertaining and successful, and wanted all, his 
crew to be in good working order. A dull brotlier at 
one time speaking, after he closes, says Father Tay- 
lor, " Let some one speak now who has something 
to say." 

A Mr. Snow (not David Snow, Esq.), not being 
very warm in his talk, the old father groans out, 
" Lord ! melt that Snow." 

A colored brother, who was speaking ardently, drew 
out of him the response, " There is rain in tliat 
eioud." 

After a brother froni Plymouth, who was blessed 
with a red head, had made a very warm talk, tiie 
response came from the altar, " Well, I was not aware 
that that soil bore such red cedar." 

A man by the name of Wood, who was not noted 
for his warmth in his talks, drew from Father Tayloi ' 
the brief prayer, " O Lord ! set fire to that Wood." 

An old German saying he no more doubted his ac- 
ceptance with God than that the sun shone at noon- 
day on a cloudless sky, the old veteran exclaims, 
" Bring yoar Harvard learned ones to this man, and 
let them learn true theology." 

Although he stood in the highest orders of Masonry 
and Odd-Fellowship, he would never leave his meet- 
ings at home to attend any of their gatherings. De- 
votion to the great work in which he was engage'] 
took the pre-eminence over every thing else. 
11 . 



162 FATHEE TAYLOE. 

To have a man leave the meetings during service 
he considered an insult to himself, and he would ad- 
minister a rebuke of some kind. Those leaving eaiij 
in the service would get the response : " Small ves- 
sels are easily filled," or " Light stuff floats quick." 
Those who might leave later in the service, " Well, 
he has got all he can take care of ; " or " Poor fellow ! 
his trouble is more than he can bear," which was 
sometimes the case. 

Such interruptions were rebuked up stairs as well 
as iu the prayer-meeting. When, in the midst of one 
of his discourses, two spruce-looking clerks walked 
down the broad aisle, he paused, fixed his eyes on 
them, and said in a patronizing tone, "That's right, 
go out : little barrels are soon filled." This sarcasm 
was unconsciously imitated by Oliver Wendell Holmes, 
who says that he was puzzled to understand the one 
man in every town who goes away just in the mid- 
dle of the Lyceum lecture, until he accounted for the 
phenomenon scientifically, — " the man was full." 

Men have left swearing mad, wishing to know who 
had told that " Old Cuss " about them ; but they have 
come back and been sweetly converted to Jesus. 

A brother in the meeting was suffering from severe 
temptation, and, after giving a full account of his ex- 
perience, was advised to take courage from his own ex- 
perience ; " For," says Father Taylor, "the Devil was 
never known to chase a bag of chaff ! You may be 
sure there is the pure wheat in your heart, or the Old 
Serpent would not be after you so hard." 

Wlien one of the brethren was talking long and 



IN THE BETHEL PEAYEErMEETING. 163 

(lull and meaningless, he exclaimed, "Lord, give ua 
point ! " 

A brother comparing religion to a medicine-chest, 
and making poor work of his comparison, he ex- 
claimed, "Brother, do get that medicine-chest open 
and give us all a dose, and then sit down and give 
some one else a chance." 

As he was going away to Europe, he gave the 
church charge, and said, " Brethren, you'll of course 
have some quarrelling while I'm gone. Now, begin 
to quarrel with your sins. I give j'ou full scope. 
Begin now, and keep it up till I come back, or till 
you haven't one sin left." 

One of his sailor-boys, warming up in an exhorta- 
tion, speaking of faith, said, " It's like tinder in an 
old-fashioned tinder-box. Shut it up, and it will go 
out ; give it vent, and it will burn." Slapping him 
oil the back. Father Taylor exclaimed, " Well done, 
Peter ! the Bishop of England couldn't better that." 

A touching scene once occurred when Father Tay- 
lor was speaking on the necessity of the wedding-gar- 
ment. A poor sailor who wore a flannel shirt started 
up to apologize for appearing in such rough costume, 
and said he had lost all his clothes by shipwreck. In- 
stantly a score of sailors stripped off their coats for 
the stranger ; while Father Taylor, with tears running 
down his cheeks, hurried from the altar, to throw his 
arms around the poor fellow, and to apologize for 
seeming to insult his misfortune. 

At another time, when the meeting dragged, he 
exclaimed, "Brethren, bring in your pot of manna 



1(54 . FATHEB TAYLOR. 

It will spoil before the next meeting. It will blue- 
mould, as it did with the children of Israel. Let ua 
have it now : you can gather more by next meeting. 
The Lord is good, and he pays on demand." 

How like a ship lie ran his meetings, and how per- 
fectly, from such a course, he held the sailors in hand, 
is shown in these incidents. There being a lull in 
the meeting one night, " Have you," he says, " nothing 
to thank God for ? Some of you might thank Him fo'r 
being out of hell." Up gets a brother and says, " I'm 
that one." — "I believe you, brother," he breaks in, 
" and so am I." The meeting took a fresh start ; and 
he, fearing it would run too fast under the wind, cries 
out, " Give her sheet, and keep a good lookout ; for 
there's light ahead." 

One Monday night, a young-looking woman, with 
a small boy at her side, arose and said, " The other 
evening I was going along the sidewalk and saw the 
lantern marked ' Bethel Prayer-Meeting.' It called 
up bygone days, when I had peace, before I wan- 
dered away. But I find myself among you ; and 
to-night I rejoice once more in light from above." 
Father Taylor exclaims, " Quartermaster, lock out 
for the lights ! " 

When a brother from another church, who was 
afterwards associated with the Bethel meeting, and 
attended on Father Taylor throagh all his last hours, 
had spoken in meeting. Father Taylor introduced 
him by saying, " He is an old navigator : he has given 
the Dfevil the slip a thousand times, and worked dead 
to the windward of him, with the leeboard of grace 
from the Lord Jesus Christ." 



IN THE BETHEL PEAYEE-MEETING. 163 

As a mother in Israel was exhorting, he raised hia 
forehead from his cane, and said, " Deep water, deep 
water ! "and put his head down again, while the old 
lady went on. The sailor and philosopher were well 
mingled in that sounding. 

There was no levity in his words or manner. These 
ejaculations were the outgushings of an earnest de- 
termination to push the meeting powerfully to its 
end. Once only, he Jiimself said, was he provoked 
into laughter. A Millerite brother, as the Second- 
Advent people. of 1843 were called, took occasion to 
vent his theories in the meeting. He dwelt on the 
immediate coming of the Lord with much fervor-and 
pertinacity. A half-drunken sailor, sitting in the rear 
of the house, warmed up by his exhortation, arose, 
steered, with many a roll to larboard and starboard, to 
the front seat, put his hand on the shoulder of the 
speaker, and hiccoughed out, " I have seen — many of 
your sort — and heard 'em talk. But I never'knew 
but one that was so — full as you, and he got — so 
full of it, that he just cut his boot-straps, and went 
up ! " Father Taylor broke down, and allowed for 
once a laugh in his prayer-meeting. 

A Maine minister, describing a visit to one of 
these meetings, says, " It was conducted in a mar- 
vellous way, by surprises, battely-shocks, hitty, witty, 
wise suggestions and illustrations, flashing, burning 
star-thoughts of faith, hope, and love, Jesus, holiness, 
and heaven, never to be forgotten." 

During Father Taylor's prime his church was the 
scene of a constant revival ; and the presence of men 



16G. FATHER TAYLOE 

from all parts of the world, each telling his story in 
his own way, gave a strange Charm to these meetings. 
The earnestness of the preacher affected his hearers 
strangely ; but they were also in earnest on their 
own account. The rough sailors had not much 
need to trouble themselves about Adam, nor about 
original sin. Actua;! transgression, their own trans- 
gression, gross, open, repeated, was the burden from 
which they sought to be freed. And the relief which 
they found seemed miraculous to those who do not 
believe in the instant and full power of the " old, 
old story" of the cross. And, when converted, they 
were ready to do battle at all times and anywhere. 
There was one consumptive old man,, whose hack- 
ing cough sadly interfered with his powers of speech, 
but who grew eloquent as he warmed in exhortation, 
and whose weather-beaten face " was as the face of 
an angel" when he prayed. This poor old invahd,. 
unequal to the work of an able-bodied laborer, was 
engaged, at fifty cents a day, in helping to unload a 
ship at Constitution Wharf. The owner, overseeing 
the stevedores, used frequent profanity, swearing by 
the name of the Saviour. Whenever he did so. Fa- 
ther W raised his hat, and bent down his head. 

The merchant turned with contempt toward the 
consumptive skeleton : " You old fool, what are you 
bowing at me for ? " — " I am not bowing at you, sir, 
but at the blessed name of Jesus, which you are 
blaspheming." Not another word was spoken; but 
a by-stander said, " The old man looked as tall as a 
steeple, and the ship-owner shrunk into the ground." 



IN THE BETHEL PRAYEE-MEETING. 167 

Such were the soldiers that came from the armory 
ill the North Square. 

A Swedish sailor, who had deserted his family 
for five years, strolled into the Bethel on his arrival 
from a year's voyage, and there " came to himself," 
and came to the altar. As the first fruits of his peni- 
tence, he sent home the earnings of the year. And 
thus a true word spoken in the old Boston Bethel car- 
ried comfort and hope to a family in Sweden. 

Even now the spirit of Father Taylor seems to 
inspire the speakers at some of their meetings, not 
only in essentials, but in manner and form of expres- 
sion. A short time since, justas two sailors were com- 
ing forward for prayers at nine o'clock in the evening, 
several well-dressed persons insisted on leaving the 
house, although requested by Mr. Noyes to remain for 
a short time. Then one of the brethren prayed after 
this manner : " Lord, bless these tender-footed nine- 
o'clock-bell Christians, who can't stay five minutes 
to see the fight out between God and Baal : endow 
them with a little more constitutional pertinacity in 
well-doing, so that they can stop fifteen minutes 
later in a prayer-meeting." 

But now, -as ever, at the Bethel all that is mirthful 
or quaint or odd is subordinate to one great, deter- 
mined, solemn purpose. And the wayfarer who 
strays into that meeting, little as he may profit by 
it, feels always that in that work-shop the laborers 
ftre in earnest, and the work is done for eternity. 



X. 



SOME BETHEL SEKSIONS. 

No Bermon preserved in Full. — Eev. Mr. Knapp's Sketch of One preached in a 
Country Town, — Autumn Effect on his Feelings. — His Text, "Praise the 
Lord." — Eleven Heads: Ten Ways of Praising, and One to be praised. — 
Drifting as usual. — "Hard down the Helml" — Among the Icebergs. — 
Makes, a Port. — Exalts Charity. — His Hotspur Temper tried. — Befriends 
a Sailor, and geta into the Meshes of .the Law. — Refuses to defend his 
Case, but pays off his Persecutor by Preaching against him. — The 
Preacher •'Double-shotted." — "Fifteen Knots on a Taught Bowline." — 
Obey Law. — All Human Laws had Evil in them, because made by Sinners. 
— They were crooked, like Roads in a New Country. — God's Law went 
right up and down, like the Windlass -Bitts. — Kicking back a Jackass 
makes Two Jackasses. — Lawyers repaid in their Kind. — The "Wounded 
Bird flutters. — "Better than a Theatre." — His Views on Creeds. — Not 
themselves the Life. — Description of a Storm, Wreck, and Rescue. — Christ, 
not Creed, the only Saviour. 

"TVyO sermon of those that attracted such crowds 
jjy and admirers has ever been preserved. Only 
a very few extracts have been kept. Two gentlemen 
have kindly furnished us with original copies drawn 
from their own memory, and which, however imper- 
fect, are valuable as footprints in rock, to show how 
gigantic the stride of this winged creature that once 
there rested in its flight, or walked a moment on those 
sands of time. The first is not given as preached in 
the liethel, but is so characteristic of him that it could 



SOME BETHEL SERMONS. 169 

have been, and undoubtedly, in substance, often was, 
proclaimed from its deck. 

Rev. Mr. Knapp of Plymouth preached a memorial 
sermon on his. death from the happy text, "And, 
when they had taken up the anchors, they commit- 
ted themselves unto the sea, and loosed the rudder 
bands, and hoisted up the mainsail to the wind." 
If he had added, " And let her drive," he would 
have still more strikingly set forth his character ; 
for no one more completely allowed his genius 
to carry him whithersoever it listed than Father 
Taylor. 

" Every quality and pith 
Surcharged and sultry with a power 
That works its will on age and hour." 

He thus describes the first sermon he heard him 
preach : — 

" I well recollect how earnestly he exhorted in the 
first sermon I ever heard him preach. Let me recall 
that sermon: it illustrates more than one of his 
peculiarities. He had gone into the country to de- 
liver a lecture on temperance. It was in a village 
on the banks of the Connecticut. He chanced to be 
a guest in my father's house. It was one of those 
days in early autumn, when the beauty seems almost 
oppressive ; the heart, somehow, feeling burdened 
with joy, in its sympathy with the great gladness of 
Nature. - This man, whose life was spent, so much 
of it, in the city, drank in these draughts as 
the earth drinks water, or the heart love, and con- 



170 FATHER TAYLOE. 

Rtantly raised his hands as we were walking, saying, 
' Oh, how good . is God ! ' Although it was a week- 
day, we determined not to let this friend of the sailor 
go till he had blessed us landsmen also. Notice was 
given at the lecture that Father Taylor would preach 
the next day (Wednesday). The large Town IlaU 
was crowded full. He rose, and said, ' Praise the 
Lord,' that's my text : it's somewhere between these 
two covers. I can't tell you exactly where, but it's 
a short text, and you can easily find it. I've been 
too busy all day long praising the Lord, and talcing 
Him in with the breath and beauty of your hills 
and valleys here, to leave me time to hunt out for 
you the place of the text ; but that's it, so hold on 
to it. ' Praise the Lord ! ' 

" He then announced that the subject divided itself 
into eleven heads. As he -named these, he counted 
them off, all but the first, on his fingers, one by one, — 
ten several ways (grand divisions) of praising the Lord. 
' That first one,' he added, ' not of the ten, it takes 
^11 the fingers of both hands, and the hands them- 
selves stretched out over earth and the seas and lifted 
up to heaven, to point to ; for what else is it, but the 
Being who is to be praised ? and who is He but the 
Lord, — the great fountain of life and love and beau- 
ty, the Lord God Almighty?' He then took up 
this first head, and carried the people along with him 
as a stanch ship, driving before a mighty wind, carries 
all on board of her, until it seemed as if every soul 
there was ready to break forth into praise of God, 
and to say, ' Blessed be His glorious name forever ; and 



SOME BETHEL SERMONS. 171 

let the whole earth be filled with his glory. Amen, 
and amen ! ' 

" The second head then came up, — the first of the 
methods of praising God. And here he began with 
the right using of the intellectual powers, — getting 
a solid basis of intellectual conviction somewhere. 
This led him at some length into certain philosoph- 
ical discussions, somewhat abstruse : when suddenly 
stopping, and looking up under his palm, as if just 
discovering that he was drifting into the north- 
ern sea of metaphysical arguments, he raised his 
strong hand, and in the tone of command, called out, 
' Hard down the helm ! hard down the helm ! 
I've lost my reckoning ! — we're in the region of ice- 
bergs ! ' An hour and a half he had now been 
preaching. He then turned and said, ' I think I know 
my way yet. I'm going to make for the nearest port. 
I meant to have swept you round through other seas, 
and pointed out to you those other nine cities of 
righteousness, where each in its own way is praising 
the Lord. But there's no time now ; our miserable 
■ drift among the bergs has used up our voyage. Ah ! 
I'm a poor captain and careless ; wonder I hadn't 
wrecked you ! But it's not too late ; and I'll bring you 
safe into port yet, if you'll stand by me a little 
longer ; and it shall be the blessed port where the 
way they praise God is by loving his children.' 

" He went on with a glowing appeal for Chris- 
tian charity, love to all men, but especially to those 
who are really trying to live as children of the good 
God and Father. As thunder breaks in upon a sum- 



172 FATHER TAYLOR. 

mer sky, did he denounce the wickedness of secta 
rian strife, and protest against the bigotry of those, 
who, with soiled garments on, refused to call by the 
name of brother, men whom God, clad in his robe 
of purity, did not hesitate to call his children. 

" Such is a rough sketch of his discourse as I recol- 
lect to have heard it some thirty years ago." 

Father Taylor was high-strung to the last degree. 
Hotspur was not more sensitive, nor Othello more 
the soul of honor. An incident illustrative .of this 
-trait is told by his long-time friend and associate, 
Mr. Broadhead. 

A poor sailor owed a man a bill, who was going to 
take his furniture. Father Taylor offered to let the 
sailor paint his house, and so pay the bill himself. He 
gave the man his note ; but the sailor ran off, and did 
not do the painting, and he claimed that he did not 
owe the note. The man sued him, and proceeded to 
attach a fine horse and- carriage, presented to him 
by a Virginian friend, and which he rated very 
highly, both for itself and its giver. ' He refused to 
interfere to save his horse and carriage ; forbade any 
of his friends attending its sale,' which went ridicu- 
lously cheap; refused to receive the balance offered 
iiim by the sheriff over the claim, and declared no 
one of his family should ever receive it. The next 
Sunday he took for his text, " If one go with thee 
to the law and take away thy coat, let him have thy 
cloak also." He was exceedingly indignant, and 
preached most urgently on the iniquities of law. 
Gov. Andrew, who was present, declared he nevei 



SOME BETHEL SERMONS. 173 

heard a more compact and powerful legal argument 
on obedience to law. He closed "his discourse with 
telling the story of his wrongs ; and the lawless 
creditor may have fairly claimed that he got no 
jiore than his own, and the wronged preacher felt 
ihat he had cleared the score and squared accounts, 
thus balancing his firm-set antagonist. That balance 
yet lies somewhere! in the sheriff's office, and will lie 
till the judgment-day, so far as any claim may come 
from the family of Father Taylor. He would scorn 
his blood, even in heaven, if they touched that 
money. 

This sermon is thus narrated by the popular writer, 
Rev. Elijah Kellogg, then a student at Andover, who 
was present on the occasion : — - 

" In 1842, being in Boston, and attracted by the 
popularity of Father Taylor, I went to hear him. 

"I entered the house beliind a number of sailors. 
As I came in, I saw a middle-aged man upon the 
platform,^ with his arms folded, walking back" and 
forth. 

" 'Tliere he is. Bill,' said one of the sailors, who ap- 
peared to have recently arrived ; " tliere's the old man 
walking the deck: he's got his guns double-shotted 
too ; he'll give it to us, right and left. See how fast 
he travels, — fifteen knots on a taught bowline 
When he walks in that way, he's well stirred up and 
ready for action.' 

" I followed the sailors into a pew, my curiosity much 
excited by what I had heard, and sat down, prepared 
to take' it, right and left. There was nothing in the 



174 FATHER TAYLOE. 

preliminary exercises to attract particular attention, 
except a certain off-hand way of doing things, which 
T felt savored too little of reverence. He began by 
telling the congregation (in a verj^ low voice), that 
the old sailor was- most gone, 'most worn out ; 'bat,' 
said he, ' this old voice lias got to go it right 
straight through this sermon ; ' and he shot one hand 
by the other, with a gesture something like a person 
spitting on his hands for a lift. • 

"He then named his text, — Matthew, fifth chapter, 
thirty-ninth, fortieth, and forty-first verses: 'Butl 
say unto you, That ye resist not evil ; but whosoever 
shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to hiiB 
the other also. And if any man will sue thee at 
the law, and take away thy coat, let him have thy 
cloak also. And whosoever shall compel thee to go 
a mile, go with him twain.' He then observed, that, 
v/hen a man gave his own body for dissection, he had 
a right to say what he pleased, which he should do 
that day ; that he understood there were reporters 
in the house, and he should try to speak very 
slow, in order that they might take down every 
word. The house and galleries now began to 
be crowded ; upon which he called a number of sail- 
ors (who just then came into the house) up on the 
platform, — quarter-deck he called it. The men 
seemed quite unwilling to go ; but he would have 
them up there, and put them on the sofa: then, look- 
ing round upon the audience, said, ' they had now 
got the hold full, and a deck-load.' 

" He went on to speak of the duty of submi t- 



SOME BETHEL SERMONS. 175 

ting to law, even though it were unjust or cruel, 
and to tell the sailors that they must obey laws on 
board ship ; must not question them, deny duty, or 
mutiny, even though they were abused, nor strive to 
right themselves by unlawful methods ; but submit 
and suffer wrong, rather than do wrong, citing the 
words of the text, ' and if any man will sue thee at 
tlie law, and take away thy coat, let him have thy 
cloak also.' 

"If we were going upon the principle of resist- 
ing evil, we should be lawless ; for all human laws 
had evil in them, because they were made by sin- 
ners, to govern sinners, and the DeVil (whom he had 
a great deal to say about) had a hand in making all 
of them ; all human laws were crooked, like the roads 
in a new country, that twisted and doubled round 
things that come in the way; law is not always jus- 
tice. There was only one perfectly straight, square 
law in the universe, — God's law ; that was right up 
and down like the windlass-bitts, didn't twist any 
more than a pump-bolt, but went right straight 
through every thing : that was the course for us to 
steer. 

" And God said, ' Resist not evil, but whosoever 
shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the, 
other also.' But the Devil said, ' Hit back, and I'll 
back you : ' but he didn't back his friends ; for, after 
he got 'em into trouble, he left 'em there, for he's a 
dar, and always was." 

" ' You won't gain any thing by going. to law, I tell 
you : the feathers will come out of your neighbor's 



176 FATHER TAYLOR. 

goose. A Christian going to law is out of his place 
he is coming down to the level of the world. Sup 
pose you were going along the street where a jack- 
ass was hi tc lied to a post, and he should up foot and 
kick you, then you should up and kick him. Why, 
lie is only acting out his own nature, -while jou hare 
made a jackass of yourself; and there is a pair of 
jackasses. I entreat you all not to make jackasses 
of yourselves.' 

" By this time I began to think we were getting it 
right and left, and the preacher's voice (which was 
at first so feeble) had risen to a shout. He said, ■' It 
is the crookedness of the law that gives to dishonest 
men all the advantage over lionest men, because 
honest men know nothing about law: they have no 
time to study law ; they are about better things, — 
serving God and getting -an lionest living ; but rogues 
have nothing else to do but studj^ all the crooks, 
quirks, and quibbles. If you go into any of the mis- 
erable dens in their neighborhood, you will find Coke 
and Blackstone. They are all posted. If twenty 
honest men and twenty rogues go ' to law, the rogues 
will beat them. Here,' said he, ' are my two class- 
leaders, as honest, respectable men as there are in 
Boston, and the judges and lawyers in Suffolk County 
are as upright men as are to be found in the world ; 
and yet some rogues might go before a court, and 
swear that they saw them breaking into a store, or 
setting a fire ; and they would have to go to jail, and 
all the congregation might follow them to Charlestown 
bridge with their tears and hymn-books ; but into the 



SOME BETHEL, SERMONS. 177 

stone jug they would have to go. So, you see, it ia 
of no use to go to law. I am talking to honest men 
now. As I said before, the feathers will come out of 
your neighbor's goose : they won't come out of the 
rogue. I suppose some of you will tell me, ' It's 
very easy for you. Father Taylor, to stand up there 
and tell us not to mutiny or deny duty, to turn the 
other cheek, and all that ; but if you got as many 
kicks and cuffs as we do, you'd want to strike back.' 
Well, now, I've been abused by the law : the law has 
injured me ; but I am going to stand up for the la'.v, 
submit to it, and turn the other cheek.' 

" He then went on to say, that at one time his 
house wanted painting ; and a man who went to sea 
part of the time, and worked ashore part of the time, 
being unable to pay his rent, his landlord (in winter 
weather) was about to put his things on the side- 
walk. - He told the landlord he would hire the man 
to paint his house, which would pay up the arrears of 
rent, and for some weeks ahead, and (with the man's 
consent) gave his note, to the amount required for the 
job, to the landlord, to keep him quiet. When the 
business was arranged, the man ran away and didn't 
paint the house. When the note came round, he re- 
fused to pay it, on the gi'ound that he had never had 
the work done. Upon which the landlord sued him, 
and, as he refused to go to law, attached property 
(his horse and chaise), and, as is usual in such cases, 
for more than the amount of the debt. Pie still refus- 
ing to have any thing to do with it, the property was 
sold, which, bringing more than the debt an'd costs. 
.12 



178 FATHEE TAYLOR. 

tlie remainder was tendered to him ; but he refused td 
receive it, because the Scripture says, ' Of him that 
taketh away thy goods, ask them not again.' Said 
lie, ' I see that man here to-day ' (and I think he said 
' he is a member of this church'). ' Now, I have no 
ill-will or hardness against that man : I love him as a 
(Christian brother ; I would do him any favor, do any 
thing for his good, as willingly as ever I would. 1 shall 
always feel sorry to hear that any misfortune has 
happened to him, and be glad to hear of his prosperity. 
I never will let the fire go out on his hearth when he 
is gone to sea ; never will I see his little ones cry for 
bread, or his wife turned out to the cold charity of 
the world. But then I can never have that confidence 
In him, can never trust him, as I did before.' 

" Here the man (who sat well up on the broad 
aisle), unable to endure it longer, got up and made 
all haste for the door. 

" ' Here, come back! ' shouted the preacher,' leaning 
over the pulpit: ' you haven't got half your dose yet.' 

" The man did not stop to get any more, and the 
discourse closed with a fervent exhortation to Chris- 
tian charity. 

"In the slip before me were a number of man- 
of-war's men ; and, as they went out, one of them, 
slapping the other on the shoulder, said, ' I swear, 
Jack, it is better than a theatre.' 

" This is what I can recollect of the discourse after 
an interval of more than twenty years." 

Mr. Dunca,n Maclean gives a synopsis of his talk 
au creeds, made up out of several sermons, which 



SOME BETHEL SERMONS. 179 

exhibits his usual freedom in handling that theme, 
though it does not quite convey his delicate and 
abundant fancy. 

" Creeds ! Shipmates, if- auybody were to ask you 
who made the heavens and the earth, and all that are 
in them, you would very properly answer, God ; and, 
if you should be asked who made all the creeds, you 
would just as readily respond. Men ; and be right in 
both cases. Now creeds, like Joseph's coat of many 
colors, are made of patches, — no two of them alike, 
or one of them to-day what it was when first made. 
Even our new friends, the Millerites, since they 
broke their crank in trying to wind the world up, 
have been compelled to add a new patch to their 
creed, to" explain the blunders in their figuring. 
Creeds are all well enough in their way ; but you will 
readily perceive, like every tiling human, they are im- 
perfect. No man shall make a creed for me ; and 
I'm sure I do not wish to make a creed for any one. 
A common danger gives men a common creed. 

"A few days since, one of the brethren just re- 
turned from sea told me a story that will explain what 
I mean by a common danger giving men a common 
creed, or-, if you like the phrase better, a common re- 
ligion. He was one of the crew of a large ship, 
bound from Liverpool for New York, with over four 
hundred souls on board, mostly steerage passengers. 
Half-passage out, she Avas beset by a hurricane, which 
blew all her sails from the bolt-ropes: the sea swept 
away her boats, bulwarks, and every thing movable 
fiom her decks ; and, to add to the horror of those on 



180 FATHER TAi'L0l4. 

board, when the storm moderated, she caaght fire be- 
low. New sails were immediately bent, and she was 
headed for the Western Islands ; while the passen- 
gers were employed pouring water below, in the hope 
of drowning the fire. It was all in vain. The fire 
increased instead of diminishing : the pitch began to 
melt from the seams of the planking ; the lower parts 
of the hold-pumps were burned, so that there were 
no means left to pump the water oat ; in short, after 
doing all that men could do to save the ship, they 
found themselves at their wits' end. Then they 
cried unto the Lord in their trouble, and he delivered 
them out of all their distresses. 

"All work ceased: the captain called the crew and 
passengers together, and told tht5m that' it was hardly 
possible for the ship to continue afloat another day, — 
for she was leaky as well as on fire : he therefore 
thought it right that they should all unite in prayer ; 
and he advised every one to pray for himself, in his 
own way. As if moved by a common impulse, they 
prostrated themselves on the deck without uttering a 
word. Now, what do you think thej^ prayed for ? 
A little more Methodism, a little more Catholicism, a 
little more Presbyterianism, a little more Unitarian- 
ism, Universalism, or any other ism ? No, no, breth- 
ren. A common danger had given them a common 
religion. Every soul communed with the same God. 
When they rose from the deck, a young sailor bound- 
ed aloft ; and, when he reached the royal masthead, 
shouted with all his might, " Sail ho ! steering in 
our wake." In a moment the ship was hove to, after 



SOME BETHEL SERMONS. 181 

which the sailors swarmed up the rigging to see for 
themselves. 

""Now wait a minute, shipmates, and I will show 
you how these poor souls, who but a few minutes be- 
fore were all praying to a common Father, now be- 
gan to differ ; to make creeds according to their range 
of vision. Only one small square sail could be seen 
above the horizon ; but the vessel was end on, and 
from this the sailors began to reason whether the 
craft to which it belonged Avas a ship, a bark, or a 
brig. And this controversy continued until she was 
hull out with studding-sails' set on both sides. The 
signal of distress had been seen ; and, as if by magic, 
she was clothed with all drawing sail. Now, \yhat 
mattered it whether she was a ship, a bark, or a 
brig? She was a savior. Was not that enough ? 

" No : men are by nature so crooked that they will 
question the existence of the God in whom they live, 
move, and have their being. It was a British frigate. 
She rounded to, and saved every soul. Were they 
grateful ? I think they were. 

" But suppose it had been night, - — for God works 
at all times and in all weathers, — and the poor souls 
could have seen only her lights rising and falling 
with every roll of the waves : they would have been 
just as much given to speculation. Even in the 
darkness somebody would have thought that he saw 
something better than his shipmates, and so on prob- 
ably through the whole ship's company. Sailors, as 
well as landsmen, are not willing to take God at His 
word, and wait patiently for Hie working out of His 



IS'i FATHER TAYLOR. 

ways, but thuy want to know, all about Him right off; 
and because they can't, then they go- to work and 
make what they think he ought to do, and call it a 
creed. Blessed Jesus, give us common sense, and let 
no man put blinkers on us, that we can only see in a 
certain direction ; for we want to look all around the 
horizon, — j'-ea, to the highest heavens and to the low- 
est depths of the ocean. 

" But to return to the saved : they had a good 
creed. They prayed a sincere prayer to a common 
Father, and He sent them a common salvation. Oh, 
how their hearts must have bounded with gratitude ~ 
wlien they found themselves safely on the deck of the 
hospitable frigate ! In this case some four hundred 
souls had passed through one of the most appalling 
experiences of life, without any other creed than trust 
in God. The friendly frigate remained by the wreck, 
and saved all their effects ; and then poured a con- 
centrated broadside into her between wind and wa- 
ter, that her burning wreck might not draw ships 
out of their course. She exploded into fragments, 
rolled from side to side, and disappeared, leaving the . 
wreck of her spars and upper works a shapeless mass 
on the surface. The frigate landed her precious 
freight in safety at Cork, whence they finally found 
their way to their respective destinations. Did creeds 
give those rescued souls consolation in their hour of 
extreme peril ? No : but the Word of God did ; and 
that is my creed. I hold to the Bible, the whole Bi- 
ble, as my creed, because it never grows old or need* 
repatching." . • 



SOME BETHEL SERMONS. 183 

This topic was often offset by rigid proclamations 
of the highest points of orthodox creeds. None could 
surpass him in pressing on his sailors' minds the doc- 
trine of their own personal sin, and that pardon and 
holiness were by faith alone in the blood; of Christ, 
aiid the eternal consequences of accepting or reject- 
ing the great salvation 'n this appeal he keeps 
close to these central trucns, and by them steers his 
ship in safety. 



SOMK BKTHEL MEM. 

Richard Butler.— His Dissolute Habits. — Father Taylor's Kind Word. —His 
Conviction, Conversion, Fall, and Rising again. — Faithful unto Death.— 
Charles Jameson. — Father Taylor's Inconsistencies defended. — "It takes 
all Kinds of Winds for a Ship to sail round the World."— Victory over 
Death. — Charles Smith. — His Generosity. — Breaks with his Leader, and 
is reconciled. — The Oldest Living Member of the Bethel Church. — His 
Conversion and Trust in God. — Capt. Foster, and how he didn't put down 
Father Taylor. — Capt. Bowers and his Christian Character. — How Exem- 
plified. — Henry Pigeon. — Capt. Morris. ^ Mr. Harlow. — His Rescue, and 
Holy Living and Dying. — William Broadhead. — Nathimiel Hamilton. — 
How he got his Place. — "Frogs will push him from the Log." 

THE work of. Father Taylor at the Bethel may be 
well illustrated by a character or two. We have 
given slight incidents illustrative of several of them in 
the chapter on the Bethel prayer-meeting. The story 
of another is -told in "The Boatswain's Whistle,'" a 
journal published by and for a fair to aid the sea- 
men. Mr. Duncan Maclean is its author. 

" Dick Butler was every inch a sailor, and was re- 
garded by his yhipmates generally as the prince of good 
fellows, — willing to treat while he had a shot in the 
locker, and ready for a lark at a moment's notice. 
Pie was generous to a fault : no one appealed to him 
in vain for help, while he had any thing to give. On 

1S4 



SOME BETHEL MEN. 185 

board of a ship, when free from the ii.liuence of 
rum, no man could be more exemplary in the dis- 
charge of every duty in all ■weathers. Even when 
half drunk he was not quarrelsome ; on the contra- 
ry, he was so full of fun that it was hard for any 
one to find fault with him. But he loved vum above 
eveiy thing else, and for it would sell even the shirt 
he wore. Thus he passed many years of his life, — a 
drunken, reckless sailor, the easy prey of any land- 
shark who would take the trouble to fleece him. 

" In one of his sober fits, he thought he would turn 
over a new leaf, and, by way of a beginning, married 
a kind-hearted young woman, who really loved him 
on account of his geniality, — he was so good-natured . 
For a few weeks they were as happy as children, and 
Dick wondered- that he should have been such a foo) 
to remain single so long. He felt like a new man 
drank but little, was home early every evening, and 
thought himself all right. But, like every poor sin- 
ner who reposes confidence in his own strength, he 
gradually relapsed into his old habits. At this time 
he had left the sea and worked alongshore. Ho 
hibored hard and drank deeply, so much so that he 
seemed to be rum-proof; but sometimes, like other 
drunkards, he lost the run of himself, though he 
was rarely seen to stagger. Having finished dis- 
charging a ship, in company with some of his com- 
panions, he ' blew it out straight ' in a favorite 
rum-shop, and, when he left to go home, was so con- 
fused that he proceeded to the ship he had just 
helped to discharge. How he managed to scramble 



186 FATHER TAYLOK. 

ou board of her he never knew ; but the next morn- 
ing he awoke in her hold, lying under the fore hatch- 
way, alongside of the keelson. In turning himself 
over to rise, he felt an acute pain in his side, and 
tried to put his hand to the place ; but his arm would 
not move : it hung listlessly by his side, : it was bro- 
ken, with part of the bone sticking through the skin. 
Evidently he had tumbled down the ship's hatchway ; 
but how he escaped with his life seemed miraculous. 
As it is always the rule to put on the hatches every 
night, it is highly probable he remembered, by a kind 
of instinct, they had not been put on, and returned 
for that purpose, when he fell into the hold. 

" He was physically very strong, good-tempered, 
and as courageous as a lion : he bore the pain with 
fortitude, thought himself lucky that Jais brains liad 
not been dashed out, laughed sometimes at his own 
stupiditj"-, but never thought of reforming. By 
yielding implicit obedience to the surgeon who at- 
tended him, he recovered rapidly. When he resumed 
work, he was a little more careful, but still drank 
deeply. In one of his oblivious fits, his wife gave 
birth to a child, which died and was buried without 
liis knowing any thing of the event. 

" One evening, by way of a lark, he went to Father 
Taylor's prayer-meeting in the vestry of the Bethel, 
in Boston, and became so troublesome that some of 
the brethren would have bundled him out, had not 
Father Taylor himself interfered. ' Poor fellow ! ' 
said Father Tajdor, ' let us pray for him : he"s too 
good to go to-hell. Kneel, brother, kneel, and we'll 



SOME BRTPIEL MEN. 187 

ask the Lord to have mercy upon you, seeing you 
have no mercy upon yourself! ' 

" The kind words ' poor fellow ! ' subdued him : 
he knelt, he could not tell why, and that evening 
went home in tears. God had struck conviction 
deep into his soul: his whole past life, iu all ita 
hideoas deformity, burst upon him: he threw him- 
self upon the floor, and groaned in agonj'. That 
night he did not turn in. He tried to pray, but 
coiild not. He was not afraid, for fear was no part 
of his nature : all his intense agony arose from the 
conviction, that he had been setting God at open 
defiance, who had been good to him ever since he 
could remember. His base ingratitude stung him 
to the soul : he wept like a child ; and, when day 
dawned, he was still in tears. 'Oh, dear!' he ex- 
claimed, when his wife told him it was time to go to 
work. ' O my dear wife ! you must pray for me, for 
I can't pray for myself: I'm too bad to take the 
Lord's holy name upon my lips.' 

" He went to work, but hardly had he left his house 
before some of his associates asked him to go and 
have something to drink, as usual, before turning to. 
' No,' replied he : ' I'm done with rum and the 
Devil.' They stared at him with surprise, thought 
he was crazy, and tried to laugh 'him out of his good 
resolve ; but he paid no heed to them. " They went 
to the rum-shop: he went' to work. At eleven 
o'clock, the usual hour of freshening the nip with 
neaily all classes at that time, the word 'rum ' rung 
in his ears : his whole nature was burning for it ; he 



IS8 FATHER TAYLOR. 

felt the temptation was too much for him ; and, when 
invited again by his colaborers, he was almost deliri- 
ous. He threw himself upon the ship's deck where 
he was at work, for he found his legs were carrying 
him against his will. ' Great God ! ' he shouted at 
the top of his lungs, ' Idll me or save me ! ' 

" God did save him : the power of the tempter was 
broken, he had drunk his last glass of grog;* but 
other temptations assailed him with terrible violence. 
For months he struggled against the Devil , and all 
his works. He attended church regularly, was at 
every prayer-meeting, and asked every person who 
loved the Lord to pray for him. Nearly a year 
passed away before he felt that God had forgiven his 
sins, and had received him as a prodigal son ; and 
then he was all aglow with gratitude. He lived the 
religion of Jesus Christ in every thing according to 
the dictates of his conscience. After a fair trial, he 
was admitted a member of Father Taylor's church, 
and continued faithful unto death. On every suita- 
ble occasion he called upon seamen to serve the Lord, 
showed them what the Lord had done for his soul, 
and told them, by way of encouragement, thst, if he 
could be saved, anybody could be saved. He aeclared 
that he was a living witness of the power of God to 
save the chief of sinners. 



* This Is not quite the fact. Mr. Butler fell a number of times before lie was 
delivered from the bondage of this appetite. At last, Father Taylor and the 
church despaired of saving him ; and he was told that this was the last time that 
he would be permitted to return. He went forth under the knowledge of that 
purpose, and by it was so strengthened that he ever after passed through thf 
niidet of the most fiery trials without suffering even temptation. 



SOME BETHEL MEN. 189 

" But tlie serious injuries which he had sustained 
a-hen a drunkard impaired his health, and somewhat 
alfected his mind. He felt his craving for rnm re- 
turn : he told Father Taylor all about it, and wept 
bitter tears, fearful that God would suffer him to fall. 
They both prayed. The brethren and sisters of tlie 
Bethel pra3'ed ; and their prayers were answered. 
Ilis soul was strengthened, while his body wasted 
away : he felt that God was still his friend, and re- 
posed implicit confidence in the divine promises of 
the gospel. As Father Taylor said, ' God would not 
suffer his child to fall : he laid him gently on a bed 
of mortal trial, and, when fuUy refined, took him 
home to glory.' He died praising God." 

Another writer adds, — 

" This is a true sketch ^f the life of Richard Butler, 
one of the most faithful members of the Bethel. He 
believed in Father Taylor to the death. No matter 
whether he changed his mind a dozen times a day, 
Butler was always in his wake. Appreciating this 
implicit devotion. Father Taylor determined to mend 
his means of living. He advanced him and another 
man, Charles Jameson, money enough to build a water- 
boat, with which they both earned a comfortable liv- 
ing. Jameson was a Scotchman, calm, prudent, and 
of deej) religious convictions. He had no doubts or 
misgivings. Christ was to him the very God of his 
being. Sometimes, when Father Taylor was inclined 
tb bound from one subject to another, without regard 
to consistency, Jameson remarked that ' it required 
all kinds of winds for a ship to sail around tlie world. 



190 FATHER TAYLOR. 

The old man bad so many wandering sinners to 
bring home, that he could not be expected to sail on 
one tack all the time.' Like Butler, he had been a 
saiior, but, unlike him, he never had any loose habits. 
The one was grave and sedate, the other full of child- 
like carelessness. They worked together in perfect 
harmony, and always rendered a good testimony at 
the class and prayer meetings. Father Taylor re- 
garded them as his right-hand men. 

" About twenty-six years ago, they both died, with- 
in three weekg of each other. A few days before the 
death of Jameson, his wife asked him how he felt 
about the eternal world; and he answered, 'You 
see that curtain, Janet: well, death has no more 
dread for me than would the raising or the lowering 
of that curtain. My faith is immovable.' So he 
died. 

" Father Taylor mourned over their death with 
deep, heartfelt sorrow ; and well he might, for they 
were both men of God. At a church-meeting, he pro- 
posed — and Avhatever he proposed was law — that 
Mrs. Butler's interest in the water business should be 
turned over to another brother, and that the church 
should try and support the widow and her children. 
But Charles Smith, without any fear of Father Tay- 
lor before his eyes, assumed the obligations himself, 
and, with his wife, went to every place where debts 
were due, and settled them ; and then, from the earn- 
ings of the business, after deducting a little every 
monthr, the balance enabled Mrs. Butler to support 
her familjf without any aid from the church. 



SOME BETHEL MEN. 191 

" Mr. Smith was as devoted to Father Taylor and 
the church as any member in it ; but he did not hesi- 
tate to say in a difference once, that the good man's 
heart was better than his head. This he would not 
allow ; so he came down upon ' Charlie '.without mer- 
cy, and denounced him aa a disturber of the peace. 
But these denunciations did not affect him : he was 
constant at the church and at all the meetings, and 
left his life to speak for itself. When a few years 
had passed, Father Taylor took him by both hands, 
and, in the fulness of his heart, exclaimed, ' You were 
right, Charlie, after all, and I was altogether wrong ; 
and now, dear brother, you must forgive me for wliat 
I have said.' 

" When Mr. Smith died. Father Taylor officiated at . 
his funeral, and spoke of him with tears in his eyes. 
He loved him with all his heart. Like Butler and 
Jameson, he was engaged in supplying shipping with 
water, but was never dependent on 'Mr. Taylor for 
any pecuniary aid. He left a widow and eight chil- 
dren. Three of his sons volunteered early in 1862 : 
two laid down their lives in the service of their coun- 
try, and the third is still alive. Mrs. Butler also had 
three sons in the field, and Mrs. Jameson one." 

Andrew Newlands, whom Father Taylor called 
" Old North of Europe," is now eighty-four years of 
age. He is a native of Sweden, and went to sea in 
1802. In 1806, he landed in Norfolk, Va., from a 
Swedish ship. Afterwards he sailed in American ves- 
sels until 1811, when he joined an English merchant- 
ship bound from the West Indies to London. In mid* 



192 FATHER TAYLOR. 

ocean, alie was boarded by a boat from the British 
frigate "Sybil," Capt. Hopkins; and, though a for- 
eigner, Newlands was pressed, and compelled to serve 
three years,.during which he participated in many stir- 
ring scenes. He speaks very highly of Capt. Hopkins 
as a kind and brave man, whose conduct was in marked 
contrast with that of Capt. Hugh Pigot, while in 
command of the " Hermione " frigate. Tliis bold, bad 
man had so tyrannized over his crew, that they rose 
in mutiny, killed him and nearly all the officers, and 
then ran the vessel into a Spanish port, and gave her 
up as a prize to the Spaniards, with whom the British 
were then at war. The awful sufferings of her crew 
formed the theme of conversation with seamen for 
many years. 

Newlands sailed under various flags until he visited 
Bristol, R.I., in 1819. The place was then ablaze 
with a great Methodist revival; and it was here he 
first made the acquaintance of Father Taylor, who 
was then a young man in all his glory. Newlands 
was converted, and, from that time to the present, has 
been a hving child of God. He says, that, when he 
fiiot found the Redeemer, the place was filled with 
the Holy Ghost. Rum-shops and dance-halls were 
transformed into places of worship, and nearly all sec- 
ular business was suspended. He became a member 
of Father Tajdor's church when he preached in 
JMethodist Alley, and his name at present heads the 
hst of aged members. He followed the sea over 
fifty years. AVliile on board the packet-ship "Dor- 
chester," Capt. Caldwell, in the winter of 1844, bound 



SOME BETHEL MEN. 19^ 

from Liverpool for Boston, he narrowly escaped death. 
The ship was boarded by a heavy sea, which swept 
away all her masts and nearly every movable thing 
from her decks, broke the upper deck down, drowned 
the second mate and a seaman, and left her a help- 
less, leaky hulk. Three days afterward, all hands 
were rescued by the " Rochester," Capt. Britton, 
which carried them to New York. Newlands saj's, 
that, during the whole time, his religion enabled him 
to do two men's duty, and to inspire all hands with 
confidence that they would be saved.- He said that he 
had an inward conviction, in the darkest hours, when 
the ship was rolling about and leaking so rapidly that 
the pumps would hardly keep her free, that they would 
be saved ; and he said so with so much confidence that 
all hands believed him. He has been frequently 
wrecked, but never saw the time, since he gave him- 
self to Christ, that he knew what fear meant. Always 
prepared to die, having a living faith, he is completely 
resigned to the will of God. When no longer able 
to follow the sea, he found quarters in the Sailor's 
Snug Harbor, having obtained admission there through 
the influence of that sterling friend of seamen, Capt. 
Robert B. Forbes. Though kindly treated, he longed 
to be near the Bethel. He loved Father Taylor; and, 
to gratify this longing, he left without knowing where 
to go. While walking, and thinking about his future 
i\uarters, he was met by Capt. Samuel Baldry, who 
i endered him a residence in his house while he lived. 
He believed that the Lord sent the good, captain tc 
him in the nick of time. Two years afterwaid, Capt. 
13 



194 FATHER TAYLOR. 

Baldry died in the Isle of France, and N'ewlanda 
was once more adrift ; but the Lord raised him up 
another friend. A noble lady — God bless her I -^ for 
whose husband he had sailed, found him out, and pro- 
vided him abundantly with all he desired. He is a 
welcome visitor to her house, and is never permitted 
to go away empty-handed. She not only pays his 
board and clothes him, but provides him liberally with 
money to give away to those who may require it. New- 
lands never asked a cent from any one : he takes the 
promises of the gospel literally as they read, and has' 
always found them true. He was never married. At 
present he resides in East Boston, and enjoys good 
health. Above the middle height, of a strong, vigor- 
ous frame, clear, intelligent blue eyes, and a mind un- 
impaired by age, he bids fair to live many years. 
He is a constant attendant at the Bethel, frequently 
takes part in the prayer and conference meetings, and 
enjoys religion with all his soul. He looks the glori- 
ous faith in which his affections are centred. 

Capt. Jacob Foster, one of the first deacons of the 
Bethel, was not only a devoted Christian, but a man 
of considerable tact in managing Father Taylor, who, 
by the way, was much inclined to have his own way, 
whether right or wrong. But this good brother fre- 
quently led him when he thought he was doing the 
leading himself. Once, however, he failed. When 
Taylor was sick, his physicians put him on half-rations 
of preaching. He was to talk only so many min- 
utes, and Capt. Foster was to tell him when to stop by 
rising in his slip. At the time appointed, he stood 



SOME BETHEL MEN. 195 

up. Father Taylor saw him, and knew its meaning. 
" Just let me alone this once, Brother Foster," he 
cried, " and I'll always mind you afterwards." He 
sat down : the preacher flew pn for another hour, and 
Capt. Foster never presumed to control his preaching 
again. 

The late Capt. Joseph Bowers, though not a mem- 
ber of his church, at the end of every voyage, to- 
gether with his crew, visited the Bethel prayer-meet- 
ing to return thanks. He was a remarkable man : he 
followed the sea over fifty years, forty of which he 
was captain, and during that long period never lost a 
main .spar, never had a sailor die on board or desert 
him, and never had occasion to call on the underwrit- 
ers for a cent of insurance ; and, above all, was fortu- 
nate in being the means. Under Providence, of con- 
verting his crews. One incident of his life will show 
his character. When Boston was considered an in- 
fected port in consequence of the cholera, vessels 
bound to Cuba, though laden in Boston, proceeded to 
Portland, Me., and there obtained a clean bill of 
health. The vessel whicli he commanded had pur- 
sued tlie same course ; but the Spaniards, having re- 
ceived a hint of this mode, became more particular. 
They questioned Capt. Bowers about the place he 
took on board his cargo, and he answered truthfully. 
His vessel, accordingly, was ordered to perform forty 
days' quarantine. As part of his cargo was perish- 
able, be returned immediately to Boston. His owner 
was furious, and demanded why he did not swear his 
cargo through like other shipmasters. The custom 



196 FATHER TAYLOR. 

officers in Cuba were " only a parcel of Spaniards." 
" Sir," replied the noble captain, " I was not swearing 
to Spaniards, but to God, in whose presence I would 
not lie to save my life." He was turned out of the 
vessel, but soon obtained another, and continued suc- 
cessful to the close of life. He died suddenly at sea 
by a stroke of apoplexy. 

Mr. Henry Pigeon, spar-maker, of East Boston, 
still a member of the Bethel, has been many years a 
devoted friend of seamen. Father Taylor loved him 
dearly, and passed many a pleasant day in his com- 
pany. He has a country residence on Cape Ann, 
where Father Taylor was a welcome guest every 
summer. It was of his daughter that the quaint re- 
mark was made recordedjn a previous chapter.* 

Capt. Griffith Monis, long and favorably known as 
commander of the steamer, " R. B. Forbes," was a 
class-leader and Sunday-school teacher in the Bethel 
thirty years ago. He was converted under Father 
Taylo}''s ministry, and rendered him good service many 
years. He now resides in New Jersey, and continues 
a member of the Methodist-Episcopal Church. 

Mr. Harlow was converted under the labors of 
Father Taylor, and became an exemplary Christiai;. 
When he found Jesus precious, his whole soul was 
aglow with gratitude ; and his testimony was so con- 
vincing, that he formed one of the chief spars in the 
Bethel-ship. He was one of the most devoted Chris- 
tians that could be found anywhere, and rendered up 
a good account when he was passing away. 

* See iiagc 100. 



SOME BETHEL MEN. 197 

Mr. Broadhead, formerly boatswain of the United 
States revenue-cutter, " Hamilton," under the com- 
mand of Capt. Josiah Sturgis, was also converted by 
the preaching of Father Taylor. He left the cutter, 
and took charge of the Mariners' House in North 
Square, which he conducted with marked ability sev- 
eral years. ^ He left it for other business, but, while 
he remained in this vicinity, was an efficient member 
of the Bethel. 

As a specimen of the power he possessed over his 
"crew," he used to tell of a good brother, who if at 
work on the roof of a house, and Father Taylor, from 
the sidewalk, but shook his fingers greetingly at him, 
would shout back, as loud as he could, "Glory!" 
With such men, how could he fail to make a success- 
ful cruise in his holy man-of-war, and bring many 
hostile souls happy captives home to glory ? 

Mr. Nathaniel Hamilton, the present efficient su- 
perintendent, describes his first acquaintance with the 
"Old Admiral: " — 

"In the month of March, 1852, I received what 
seemed to me a providential notice that a man was 
wanted to fill a place connected with the Bethel en- 
terprise. Having the impression that the call was of 
a higher order than man, I consulted with my minis- 
ter, Rev. William Livesey, who, seeing my zeal, vol- 
unteered to accompany me to Father Taylor, and 
vouch for my fitness. In our interview he was 
searching and scathing in his inquiries and remarks. 
Although Mr. Livesey had spoken as best he could, 
and Mrs. Taylor says, ' Mr. Taylor, we have prayed 



198 FATHER TAYLOR. 

earnestly for the Lord to send us the right man,' still 
he seemed to take no stock in my ability to fill the 
place, until his scathing remarks provoked me to show- 
some of the same spirit he exhibited, and use language 
something like this : ' If you think that I was fool 
enough to come to Boston to seek a place that a chDd 
could fill, you are mistaken in your man,' directly 
rising and taking my hat, as if to leave. ' Well,' 
says Father Taylor, ' that is the best thing I have 
seen yet.' I think he is our man, and will fill the 
place admirably. 

" He never could bear what he termed a putty or 
wooden man. He said ' Good steel will throw fire 
when struck.' While living on the Cape, my house 
was a home for ministers. Naturally some would find 
me in tny new home. A few months after taking 
charge, one came, but not alone, — wife, sister, five 
children, and a dog. Father Taylor was watching 
with intent interest all the coming and going, and, as 
he had adopted me as his man, he wanted there should 
be no ' outs ; ' but this encroachment on our rules 
bothered him. After some deliberation, he very sig- 
nificantly says, ' Brother Hamilton, be careful you 
don't get so many frogs on the log you can't stay on 
yourself.' " 

He was able, however, to stay on the log, and keeps 
on it to-day, a most efficient laborer in this excellent 
work. 

Many intelligent captains, mates, and seamen made 
the Bethel their religious home at the end of their 
voyages, and contributed much toward its support 



SOME BETHEL MEN. 199 

and usefulness by their testimony. In the Sun- 
day-evening prayer-meetings, when the Bethel was 
crowded in every part, it was quite common to hear 
over a hundred seamen give their testimony, and re- 
late their experience abi^v.t the blessed religion of 
the Lord Jesus Christ. 

With such helpers he built up his ca ise, and 
made it strong for a geiieranon., at home and on 
everv sea. 



111. 

iN CONFEKENCK. 



filany Ways for a Live Man to live. — " Sailors curse the Eyes they weey wiih." 

— A Novel Text at Bath, and a great Sermon. — A Failure at "Wilbraham. — 
A Victory over hia Victors. — How he saved a Poet. — Heavy Divinity. 

— The Tables turned. — "The Death of Death himself." — Don't fire his 
Gun at a Mosquito. — "A Pup of Dogtown." — " Can't eat Souls." — Mice 
and Lions. — Sleeves rolled up. — Camels and Spices and Bitter Herbs.- 
Preserved Diamonds. — " By Q-eorge I " — " Sailors grasp the "World in their 
Hands like an Orange." — "Grasp the Poles and shake the Universe." — 

— His Sermon in New York. — Another Sailor Preacher. — " Ko Salt in the 
Forecastle." — Melting an Iceberg with Moonbeams. — "Heating an Oven 
with Snowballs." — Putting Spurs to Lightning. — A Whale eating a Tun 
of Herrings for Breakfast. — Speech at Niagara. — Peter Cartwrigbt's Re- 
ply. — His Latest Love. 



EVERY live man shows his vitality in many 
ways. Father Taylor's peculiar genius shone 
in society, and a clerical conference is only the best 
society. It confers on the most animating themes 
in that free manner which invites free lances hke 
his to engage in the fray. He began his career as 
a conference man almost before he was a member. 
In his earlier days the preaching was much more fre- 
quent than at present, and the young orator was soon 
brought to the front. 

He joined the conference on trial at Lynn in 1819, 
being recommended from Scituate circuit. His case 
was laid over at first ; but he was afterwards received, 

200 



IN CONFERENCE. 201 

" some improvement," as its journal reads, " having 
been seen in his case." The next year the conference 
met at Nantucket. On Sunday, at about four o'clock 
in the afternoon, he preached to a great multitude 
assembled on the wharves and on vessels near by. 
He said to the sailors, " When you are at sea, and 
the storm is upon you, your e3res weep ; you humble 
yourselves, and pray to God for help ; but, when the 
storm is over, you curse your eyes for weeping, and 
your hearts for feeling." 

Bishop George, who presided at the conference, 
remarked, " Who would have thought of that but 
Taylor ? " 

Rev. A. D. Sargent recalls an illustration of his apt- 
ness at text, and portrays his power over an audi- 
ence. He says, — 

" In 1822, the New-England Conference met in 
Bath, Me. After the conference was adjourned, he 
preached on board the vessel at the wharf, on Acts 
xxi. 6 : ' And, when we had taken our leave one of an- 
other, we took ship, and they returned home again.' 
He had one of his greatest times. There was a great 
crowd of people, and many preachers ; among these 
Bishop Hedding. He was peculiarly happy in select- 
ing texts for occasions of all sorts. In those days he 
was full of sea-phrases and allusions to the sea. He 
was always remarkable for making people cry and 
laugh. He was in all sorts of shapes, — now as 
though he was a thunder-cloud, threatening terror and 
dismay, and then exciting levity and glee, and that 
soon followed by a flood of tears ; so that the people 



202 FATHER TAYLOR. 

hardly knew how to show their admiration, whether 
by crying, laughing, or shouting. When the latter 
demonstration appeared, he was like the war-horse in 
the heat of the conflict, and would push into the 
battle as though he was strong enough to move 
mounta,ins, and control the whole solar system. On 
such occasions he was majestic beyond description. 
Two years after this, in 1824, he preached before 
the ordination of the elders elect, at Barnard, Vt., 
in the grove, Bishop George being present to ordain. 
That was the time when there were nearly forty who 
were ordained elders. He preached at all the confer- 
ences in those days, because the people clamored for 
him, and he must come out, or they would not be 
satisfied." 

He was not, however, always successful. At a 
conference in Wilbraham, in 1826, Bishop George 
preached in the morning. Rev. J. N. Maffit preached 
a powerful sermon at a later morning hour, and Fa- 
ther Taylor began to speak in the afternoon, from the 
text, " God forbid that I should glory save in the 
cross of my Lord Jesus Christ." But the efforts of 
the morning overcame him ; and he only said a few 
rambling words and sat down, while Wilbur Fisk 
filled out his hour. 

He not only endured failure, but chastisement also, 
as a good soldier of Jesus Christ. The following in- 
cident showed his happy art of pressing a nettle to 
its silky softness. At the Springfield Conference of 
1831, he was charged with disobeying the resolve oi 
the conference, not to participate in public Masonio 



IN CONEERENCE. 203 

ceremonies. They were led to this course by the 
excitement then prevailing against thi's order, and 
they expressed no opinion on the subject itself. 
Father Taylor had promised to conform, and had 
broken his pledge. Wilbur Fisk was the complain- 
ant. He was found guilty ; and the vote was, tliat 
he should be reproved by its president in open con- 
ference, tie accordingly walked up to the altar-rail 
to the bishop. Bishop Hedding, his first and best 
friend, spoke of his conversion under his labors, and 
the interest he had felt for him, and affectionate- 
ly advised him as to his future conduct. When 
asked how he liked the punishment inflicted, he said, 
" The only objection I had to it was that there was 
not enough of it. I am willing to take advice from 
Bishop Hedding every day of my life ; for I am sure 
he has a true heart, and what he says shall be an ex- 
cellent oil that shall not break my head." 

It was, however, as a debater that he afterwards and 
longest shone. In this tournament of soul with soul, 
he took great delight. His wit was of the keenest, 
his pathos the most pathetic, his eloquence irresisti- 
ble. A multitude of memories of such revelations of 
his power exist, a few of which have condensed 
themselves into enduring words. 

Rev. R. W. Allen writes, "In 1834, the New- 
England Conference held its session in Webster, Mass. 
In the examination of the preachers, an incident 
occurred that created much interest. Rev. Caleb D. 
Rogers had written some verses, in which he brought 
out the most prominent traits of character in the 



204 FATHER TAYLOR. 

leading preachers of the conference. They were 
written, as he declared, for his own amusement, and 
not designed to be seen by any one but himself, but 
were surreptitiously copied, and at the above confer- 
ence were seen or heard by most of the preachers. 
One brotiier took offence, claiming that an unjust 
allusion had been made to him ; and, when the name 
of C. D. Rogers was called, the matter was brought 
up. Father Taylor was then in his prime, and to 
speak in conference was his delight, especially on 
any subject in which he was particularly interested. 

" The objection made aroused him, and he was on 
his feet at once. For a few moments he seemed in- 
spired, and delivered a speech that will never be for- 
gotten by those who heard it. It was something on this 
wise : ' Mr. President, strange revelations are made 
to-day. The New-England Conference is perfected 
at last. We had our doctors, theologians, logicians, 
authors, orators, disciplinarians, great men and pow- 
erful men, but we had no poet ; and how to get one was 
a question that no one could answer. We were sigh- 
ing for a poet ; and all at once, unlooked for, like 
thunder from a clear sky, the great, glorious fact is 
announced that a poet has arisen in our midst, full 
grown, with wings spread, by the name of Caleb I). 
Rogers. His dehut shows a master genius, and re- 
veals a stretch of thought and imagination truly 
marvellous. Who but a master mind could draw to 
the hfe the characters of such giants as compose this 
conference ? We are surprised at the effort ; it con- 
founds, it overwhelms us.' Thus he proceeded, clos- 



IN CONFERENCE. 20a 

ing his thrilling address with '■Long live the poet 
Rogers ! ' The conference was completely taken 
captive by the unique effort, such as no one living 
could make but E. T. Taylor. I need not say that 
the character of C. D. Rogers passed without any 
thing further being said. 

" In returning to Boston from the conference which 
held its session in Webster in 1834, we travelled by 
stage. The vehicle was old and rickety, and filled 
with men, most of whom were of more than ordinary 
weight. At times the old coach would tremble and 
creak, as if coming to pieces ; which furnished Father 
Taylor an occasion for characteristic remarks, by 
which he kept the company in good-humor. Once, 
when it seemed that we were to be dashed to the 
ground. Father Taylor exclaimed, 'Gently, driver, 
you never had such a load before. Divinity is heavy 
stuff. The seventy-four,' as he always called Bishop 
Hedding, ' is aboard.' " 

Thus he turned the tables at a Springfield confer- 
ence. There had been a warm discussion on the pro- 
priety of publishing in "the Minutes " the names of 
the donors to the missionary fund, together with the 
amount contributed by each. It had been advocated 
on the ground that it would increase our contribu- 
tions, as all would wish to see their names in the list, 
and every name would have an influence for the fol- 
lowing year. It was opposed, on the contrary, that 
those who could give but little would not like to see 
so small a sum attached to their names in print, and 
m^'ht be deterred from giving at all. 



206 FATHEK TAYLOK. 

Father Taylor had made one of his characteristic, 
pointed speeches upon ostentatious giving, closing 
with the injunction, " Let not thy right hand kaow 
what thy left hand doeth." 

In reply, it was urged by Dr. Butler that it would 
be in opposition neither to the spirit nor the letter of 
Scripture to publish the names of these donors ; cit- 
ing, as an illustration in proof of this position, that 
Christ himself had made laudatory mention of the 
poor widov¥ who had cast two mites into the treas- 
ury, saying she had done more than they all, for it 
was all her living ; and that the gift of this woman 
had been published wherever the gospel had been 
preached, exerting in every land incalculable influ- 
ence for generous and self-denying beneficence. 

The speaker, who had been really eloquent, had 
scarcely finished, — he had not taken his seat, — when 
Father Taylor, half rising and leaning forward, with 
a shrill voice, not loud, but perfectly audible in every 
part of the house, called out, " Will Dr. Butler please 
give us the name of that poor widow ? " 

The effect was overwhelming. The discussion was 
never renewed, and no further effort was ever made 
ill favor of the publication of the names of the con- 
tributors to the missionary cause. 

At another conference there had been some dis- 
cussion on the subject of ministerial education ; and 
Father Taylor, much to the surprise of some of the 
younger brethren, had earnestly advocated the estab- 
lishment of theological institutions, alluding feel- 
ingly to his own want of thorough training. 



IN CONFERENCE. 207 

"Ah! if you had been through the schuols," said 
Ihe presiding bishop, " we should have had no Father 
Taylor." 

" There you are right," rejoined the old man, " for 
in that case / should have been a bishop." 

Rev. Mr. — — , an honored member of the New- 
England Conference, and a man of marked ability, was 
often called out on occasions of moment to deliver 
addresses at its annual sessions. While always 
thoughtful, he was sometimes very deliberate in his 
manner, and at times somewhat dull and dry. On 
one occasion he was called upon to make a memorial 
address in behalf of a departed member of the confer- 
ence. He failed to take fire during his whole dis- 
course. His remarks were protracted to a great 
length ; and, while certainly not lacking weight, they 
fell heavily upon a wearied audience. " There," said 
Father Taylor, turning, with one of his indescribable 
distortions of the countenance, to a neighbor, " that 
was the deadest speech over a dead man that I ever 
heard. A few minutes longer, and he would have 
been the death of Death himself! " 

Rev. Mr. B , although not himself a classical 

scholai', was a cultivated man, and very much in 
earnest to raise the standard of educational require- 
ments for membership in the conference. Once, 
while he was chairman of the examining committee 
of one of the classes, a young man failed to pass a 
satisfactory trial before him. His piety and apparent 
success in preaching were urged as reasons for over- 
riding the report of the committee. Mr. B at 



208 FATHER TAYLOR. 

once started off upon an elaborate speech, defending 
the course of the committee, and deprecating any 
measure that- would tend to lower the sentiment 
of the conference upon the educational question. 
Father Taylor, who never underrated the value of 
fiolid attainments in knowledge, naturally set a much 
higher estimate upon happy preaching gifts and devout 
piety, sat near him, and seriously blunted the force 
of his arguments by his most expressive and readily- 
apprehended grimaces. Mr. B closed by saying, 

that he feared all his efforts would be overwhelmed 
by a speech from Father Taylor, which was evidently 
forthcoming ; for every one could see that he was 
loaded to the muzzle, and would explode as soon aa 

he sat down. The moment Mr. B dropped upon 

his seat. Father Taylor simply remarked, ' I never 
load my gun to the muzzle to shoot a mosquito ! ' 
The young man was triumphantly voted in. 

During the memorable antislavery controversy a 
respected minister of the New-York Conference, 
who was reputed to be a pronounced abolitionist, 
was sent to Huntington, Long Island. Some of his 
friends thought the appointment hardly equal to his 
deserts. Leroy M. Sunderland, then editing 'The 
Watchman,' said he had been sent to 'Dogtown' 
on account of his antislavery sentiments. For this 
charge. Bishop Hedding, who presided in both con- 
ferences, arraigned Mr. Sunderland for trial in the 
New-England Conference, to which he belonged, 
meeting that year in Bennet Street, Boston. Duriii^^ 
the trial it came to the bishop's ears that Rev. Mr 



IN CONPEEBNCB. 209 

i^cudder, then an eloquent young minister who was 
preaching in Boston, was a native of Huntington, 
whereupon he was called upon to give his testimony 
as to the character of the place. As he concluded 
his statement, referring to the opprobrious epithet 
of Mr. Sunderland, Father Taylor convulsed the 
conference by shouting, " Quite a fwp that ! Can't 
they send us more of them ? " 

When this same Huntingtonian was married to a 
Boston lady, Father Taylor said to his bride, " When 
the church-members in the stations to which your 
husband is sent say they trust the Lord will give j-ou 
souls for your ministry, say to them, ' We can't eat 
souls ! and, besides, if the Lord gives us them, it is no 
thanks to you.' " 

A preacher complaining of severe treatment fi'om 
an editor. Father Taylor said, " When mice play with 
lions they must expect to get scratched." 

He was particularly earnest and fruitful iu his ap- 
peals for worn-out preachers. No such burning words 
of pathos and sarcasm, of poetry and pith, have Jieen 
heard on that floor, as his on this theme. It was 
iu these burning addresses that he uttered the oft- 
quoted words, — 

" They were moral giants. When God made them, 
he rolled his sleeves up to the arm-pits. 

" They are like camels bearing precious spices and 
browsing on bitter herbs. 

" They deserved to be carried on beds of down, 
their horses should be fed on golden oats, and the}' 
on preserved diamonds." 
■ u 



210 FATHER TAYLOK. 

Well did Dr. True remark, after one of these out- 
bursts of sympathy and power, " The almond-tree 
has blossomed to its topmost branch." 

He sometimes went to the verge of propriety under 
the temptation of wit, as, for instance : When Rev. N. 
D. George had written his excellent work on Univer- 
salism, he wished Father Taylor to introduce it to the 
New-England Conference. He did so ; and, after 
eulogizing the work, he held the book up which he 
had in his hands, and said, " Here it is, brethren. 
Universalism, hy Creorge!" 

At the Providence Conference, when some one was 
depreciating the sailors, he indignantly burst forth, 
" ' Sailors ignorant ! ' Sailors know every thing. They 
grasp the world in their hand like an orange ! " 

Of like boldness of metaphor was his remark on 
another occasion. When he would lift the audience 
and the enterprise up to a lofty level, he exclaimed, 
" Grasp the poles in both hands, and shake the uni- 
verse ! " 

Of his sermons before the conferences we have 
few remains. Rev. J. B. Wakely, D.D., furnishes 
some memorabilia of one in New- York City. 

" About the year 1837 he attended the New-York 
Conference, and preached during the conference on a 
Sunday evening in the Mariners' Church in Roosevelt 
Street, which was then and for many years a great 
institution. Rev. Henry Chase was the popular pas- 
tor. He was a man of great beauty, a fine scholar, 
and something of a poet. He was unboundedly pop- 
ular especially with seamen. He understood theii- 



IN CONFERENCE. 211 

character, their nautical phrases, and how to adapt 
himself to them. 

" A drunken sailor came reeling into his church one 
day, and the sailors all looked at him instead of at 
Mr. Chase. He stopped preaching as he saw he had 
not the attention of the audience. The drunken 
sailor threw himself into a seat, and looking up at 
the pulpit, and knowing the preacher had stopped on 
his account, said, ' Mr. Chase, j'OU can go on now.' 
Mr. Chase replied, ' I will, shipmate, for I perceive 
you have got anchored.' 

" Mr. Chase married more people than any minister 
in New York. When he was dying, several carriages 
drove up with persons coming for this purpose. He 
performed this service for not only seamen, but lands- 
men. He married ten thousand couples. He and 
Father Taylor were v6ry intimate, and the latter was 
often his guest when in New York. 

" I was with him when he was dying. A woman, 
poorly clad, came into the room, and looked at him for 
some time ; and, in leaving, she wept and kissed his 
right hand, which lay palsied by his side. Some 
months after I met her, and I inquired why she kissed 
Mr. Chase's hand. She said that hand had been 
open to supply her wants in the midst of poverty ; 
that hand had wiped the tear from her cheeks, and 
therefore she kissed it. 

" At the conference spoken of, on Sunday evening, 
Father Taylor preached in his church to crowds. 
Over a hundred preachers were present. He preached 
from the text. Matt. iv. 16 : ' The people which sat in 



212 FATHER TAYLOK. 

darkness saw great light ; and to them which sat in 
the region and shadow of death light is sprung up.' 

" In his introduction he said, that, ' no matter to 
whom else the text refers, it is applicable to my 
tribe, — sailors.' He dwelt on the context. ' The 
land of Zabulon, and the land of Nephthalim, by tho 
ivay of the sea, beyond Jordan, Galilee of the Gen- 
biles.' 

" He noticed, first, the former state of the seamen, 
— their wretched condition. They ' sat in darkness,' 
said he, in the days of Isaiah ; they ' walked in dark- 
ness,' groping about in hope of some relief ; but now 
they are sitting down in a hopeless condition, de- 
spairing of any relief. 

" Second, he showed their dangerous condition. 
They were in the ' region and shadow of death.' 
Death was so near them they could see his shadow. 
This figure expressed imminent danger. Then he 
went on to show how little the sailor was then 
thought of: nothing could be done for 'poor Jack.' 
Said he, ' They would send out their missionaries and 
go on board the vessel before it sailed ; and go into 
the cabin, and pray for the missionaries ; then pray for 
tlie captain and mate, and offer no prayer for the 
sailors. They forgot to put any salt in the forecastle. 
Dark, dark, very dark ! I remember when you kept 
a man at the door of your churches to shut out those 
who wore a tarpaulin hat and a blue jacket. I remem- 
ber when I was a sailor-boj% and I had to run the gaunt- 
let to get into your churches. Well, they might sil 
down in darkness, — in the darkness of despair.' 



IN CONFERENCE. 213 

" ' Why, it is a great mistake to think of coi:- 
verting the world without the help of sailors. Yon 
might as well think of melting a mountain of ice with a 
moonbeam, or think of heating an oven with snowballs ; 
but get the sailor converted, and he is off from one 
port to another, as if you had put spurs to lightning.' 

" Tears flowed freely, and the audience was charmed 
by the eloquence of the far-famed sailor-preacher from 
Boston. 

" There was a meeting held in St. Paul's for the 
benefit of the Bethel ship, where Pastor Hedstrom has 
been so useful. Pastor Hedstrom made the first 
address. He was longer than Father Taj'lor thought 
he ought to have been. So when he was introduced 
at a late hour to make his address, he said, ' At this 
hour what do you expect of me, after Pastor Hed- 
strom has occupied so much time, who is as selfish as 
a whale, who takes in a tun of herrings before break- 
fast?'" 

He was elected to the General Conference that sat 
lin Boston in 18.52, but took no part in its delibera- 
tions. His visit to the one that assembled at Buffalo 
in 1860 is marked by a speech of his on an excursion 
of the conference to Niagara, that is given in " The 
Daily Christian Advocate," published during its ses- 
sions, and that gives some impression of his vividness, 
tliough not as sustained or as remarkable in especial 
(lights as some of his Bethel efforts. 

"Ladies and Gentlemen, — You have had your 
applause, but you have not had your speech. I have 



214 FATHBE TArLOK. 

the disposition, but have not the voice or strength, 
to address you at much length to-day. If I speak 
now, it will be to keep up a custom I learned in my 
boyhood. I learned then to obey, and shall continue 
to do so to the last of my life, unless something 
wrong is demanded of me. We are to-day an exl;raor- 
dinary company, under extraordinary circumstances. 
This is one of the meetings that we shall have once, 
and it will never occur again. In this Republic, once 
in four years, the nation comes together ; and this ia 
the religious Republic of ours, composed of the men 
who play between heaven and earth, — the noblest 
class of beings that God has made. Angels are but the 
shadows of the ministers of the New Testament ; 
that is, if they are true ministers. God pity them 
if they are in disguise ! 

" We are here to visit Niagara, the existence of 
which is disbelieved in many countries. Many have 
travelled far to visit it. We have come together an 
extraordinary company, and we are here to look at 
Niagara. What does it represent? What does it 
resemble ? Does it not resemble our country, — 
our vast, immeasurable, unconquerable, inexplicable 
country ? [Applause.'] 

"After you have said Niagara, all that you may 
say is but the echo. It remains Niagara, and will 
I oil and tumble and foam and play and sport till the 
last trumpet shall sound. It will remain Niagara 
whether you are friends or foes. So with this coun- 
try. It is the greatest God ever gave to man ; for 
Adam never had the enjoyment of it ; and, if he had 



IN CONFERENCE. 215 

he could not have managed it. [LawghterP^ It is 
our own. God reserved it for us, and there is not 
the shadow of it in all the world besides. I have 
travelled far, and have seen the best of all the coun- 
tries of all this world, and there is but one United 
States of America in the world. [G-reat applause.'] 

" Let me see if I can find some Far Westerners or 
Southerners here. We have a great country, and we 
have, connected with that country, a great New Eng- 
land, — free, generous, daring, fearless, untiring, 
knowing no stopping-place. If she sets out for the 
moon, she will kiss the queen before she stops. 
\_Laughter and cheers.] 

" Niagara is like our gospel. It never freezes in 
winter nor dries up in dog-days. You never need to 
come and go away with a dry bucket ; and, if you 
have never learned to swim, you had better let her 
alone. \_Applause.'\ 

" Our gospel is adequate to all the wants of the 
world ; for God has sent it into this world, and here 
are — look here, Gabriel ! — here are vast congrega- 
tions of ministers of Christ who are sent to save the 
world. It is powerful as Niagara ! You cannot go 
up — yoii must go down with the tide, till all iniquity 
is removed, and the world is saved. Here are the 
ministers of the gospel. They have come here in 
their great American Congress, to look over the 
Church, to speak kind to her and lift her up. Oh, 
j^ou will never find the match of our gospel ! New 
Eugland — 1 don't know much about the West. I 
am at school yet ; for I am only a school-boy — I have 



216 FATHER TAYLOR. 

been in New England only fifty years [Laughter'], 
— New England for contrivances, for railroads, and 
steamboats, to puff and go and jump. If she does 
live in a cold region, she is not touched by icicles 
or frost. Her merchants are nobles and princes, 
therefore her men are great. Her engineers are no- 
bles. Her presidents are kings, — benevolent, noble, 
brotherly. 

" They have called us here to congratulate us, be- 
lieving that we are friends ; that we come with the 
olive-branch, loving the country. The country has 
confidence in us, and we believe we have influence 
with the people. We take them by the ear when we 
please. We make them cry when we please, and 
laugh when we please, if we are only full of the 
matter. God has sent us to delight the world, there- 
fore he has put the key in our pockets, that every 
minister of Christ may play the tune of repentance 
and faith, and lead men to God. He has lions to 
shake the cane-brakes. There are some lions here ; 
and here is one right before me. God bless the old 
hero, Cartwright ! He has frightened the wolves, 
and made the Devil tremble. May he live till the 
last enemy of the republic is dead, the last stumbling- 
block in the way of the gospel is removed, and the 
last sinner is converted ! 

" God bless the East I God bless the West ! God 
bloss the North ! God bless the South ! And oh 
i'ov a gulf as deep as from here to Sirius, where all 
bickering and dissension and hair-splitting shall be 
forever buried ! [Loud applause.'] 



IN CONFERENCE. 217 

" Let lis have a funeral first, and then a rejoicing. 
Bury the dead and open the prisons. Throw wide 
the gates, and take the longitude off your faces 
[Laughter.'] No quibbling and hair-splitting breth- 
ren. Webster said once, ' The country is tumbling 
to its ruin. Try to hold it up.' God give you con- 
viction till you do right. Will you go away from 
this place, and have dissension ? Let us have a 
peace. We have eaten together. The ancient rob- ' 
ber, though he might find a jewel, he would not 
keep it, if he had eaten with the owner. He called 
it the covenant of salt. And if j'^ou are not now in 
a covenant, j'ou are all hypocrites. Let us have 
none of you shooting squibs to-morrow. Brethren, 
you have signed a covenant ; if you have, I will 
hold you to it. I hope you will not dabble with 
any thing* but the gospel. Lord save the Church ! 
She is drooping and dwindling, and many have got 
the quinsy and bronchitis ; and a good shout would 
frighten them like so many quails. God bring back 
the power ! Father Cartwright, a Chinese philoso- 
pher has said that every gray hair on a man's head 
has a spring of \sater at the root of it. May God 
help you to fill the world with righteousness and 
peace ! " 

Peter Cartwright's answer is imperfectly given as 
foUows : — 

" This is what they call in the West taking a snap 
judgment on a man. When Father Taylor was 
speaking, I was forcibly reminded of a remark made 



218 FATHER TAYLOR. 

by a foreign lady, who visited this countrj a few yeara 
ago. She said there were but two cataracts in the 
United States, — Niagara and Father Taylor ; and 1 
verily believe it. [Laughter and applause.'] I mean 
to detain you but a few moments, but I am amazed 
at the ideas of Father Taylor about New England. 
I would bear his expenses over the mountains and 
through the West to infuse into his head some 
knowledge of that great world out there. New 
England is but a pea-patch compared to the West ; 
aad, if he could explore that country, why then, if 
he could get so eloquent over New England, over the 
West he would get so eloquent that he would aston- 
ish the nation. I know the sun 'rises in the East; 
but it does not stay there long, and they have the 
sun, moon, and seven stars in the West. [^Laughter.'] 
They have a world there. • 

" I cannot illustrate the matter better than by 
a description a man gave me of his farm in New 
England. He said he had about two acres and three 
quarters of land. He had three pigs and four chick- 
ens ; and he raised on this great farm so many peas, 
oats, and potatoes, that, after supporting his wife 
and his wife's mother, he cleared from it one hun- 
dred dollars ! [Renewed laughter.] Why, sir, in the 
West we would hardly make a pig-pen of such a farm 
as that. We have from one to two thousand acres 
in cultivation on our farms. Brother Taylor spoke 
of the excellencies of the New-Englanders. He said 
they were a great people, a mighty people ; but I 
must tell how they served me, when I was there at 



IN CONFERENCE. 210 

the General Couference in Boston. They had told 
me that in the West we had nothing but rene- 
gades from the East, but, if I would go there, they 
would show me a real green, live Yankee. 

"I preached in one of their churches, and was 
afterwards introduced to the audience, one of whom 
said, ' This is not Peter Cartwright from the West ; 
is it? ' and, on being answered affirmatively, he said, 
' You have fallen far below my expectations, sir ! ' 
to which I replied that I could give them ideas, but 
could not give them capacity to understand them. 

"I reported myself to Mr. Cummings next day, 
and said, ' Do not give me any more appointments in 
Boston, for their education is run mad, and they are 
stark, natural fools.' He laughed at me significantly, 
and said, ' You don't understand it.' — ' Well,' said I, 
' as you are a graduate of a college, I expect you do, 
biit I understand enough to satisfy me.' Right in 
the midst of this Father Taylor came up and insisted 
tliat I should go to the Bethel Church and preach. 
He said that Dr. Akers and John F. Wright had 
both attempted to preach there, and had failed, and I 
was the forlorn hope to redeem the character of the 
Western preachers. I knew Akers to be a profound 
preacher, and that Wright was hard to be beat; and, 
thought I, ' if I am the forlorn hope, the great West 
is gone, lock, stock, and barrel.' But I put myself 
upon my dignity, and told them I hoped they would 
give themselves no uneasiness, for I had preached to 
their betters many a time ; but I confess I did not 
know how a modest man like myself could preach, 



220 FATHER TAYLOR. 

•with their old wooden god up there, groaning aud 
bellowing like a dying prairie bull, and the people 
turning their faces to the choir and their backs upon 
the minister, leaving him to count his fingers ; and 
then, when he said, ' Let us pray,' they all turned 
round and sat down. 

" I told Father Taylor if he would allow me to 
regulate the congregation, I would preach ; to which 
he consented. When I got there, I told the people 
I was going to give them a real Western meeting ; so 
I requested the choir to let that old wooden banjo 
alone, and I would line my hymns, and, if they turned 
their backs on me, I would turn my back on them. 
I wanted them all to sing : I never intended to go to 
heaven by proxy, nor have some one else to do my 
singing and praying for me." 

The narraiive concludes abruptly ; but, it is said, 
he carried out his threat, and rebuked the irrever- 
ence, as he deemed it, of his congregation, by turn- 
ing liis back to the audience, and reading his second 
hymn, facing the wall. They deserved the rebuke 
which was so aptly if rudely administered, though we 
fear they did not profit by it as he desired. 

To his latest hours Father Taylor cherished the 
fondest love for his conference. Almost to the last, 
lie was present at its sessions. His form grew bowed, 
liis step feeble, his voice lost its volume,, and could 
scarcely be heard ; but still he lingered where he 
liad won hia many trophies, and rejoiced in the smile 



IN CONFERENCE. 221 

and grasp of his beloved co-laborers in the vineyard 
of the Lord. 

It was meet that he should go up on high during 
the session of his conference ; that despatches should 
come from his dying-bed to its listening hearts ; that 
prayers for the peaceful passage of his soul should be 
poured forth by his comrades in years and arms, and 
that the first prayers and resolves his death called 
forth should be made by this body, among whom, 
for over fifty years, he had moved a shining spirit of 
power and love. 



XIII. 

IN CAMP-MEETING. 

(Vhy he loveQ the Camp-Meeting.— His First Sermon there. — Eat Manna for 
Forty Tears. — Going to see Paul, and learn (he But-end of his Meaning. — 
Digging up a Backslider's Hope. — No Mother-in-law before a Mother. — 
His Zeal in this Work. — Sinners' Joys and Christians' Sorrows alike for a 
Season. — Can't steal the Linchpin from the Lord's Chariot. — Aaron's 
Kod getting hungry, and eating up its Rivals. — The Origin of Eastham 
Camp-Ground. — Its first Sermon. — A Fire that will last. — Caning the 
Devil. — A Wrestle with one of his Children. — Taking up a New Hive. — 
Gabriel and a Coach and Four. — Owing the Devil a Hypocrite, and pay- 
ing or cheating him. — His Appearance at Eastham. — His last Visit to a 
Camp-Ground. 

A GENIUS like his found especial delight in the 
camp-meeting. Its freedom from restraint, its 
communion with Nature, the exhilaration of opposi- 
tion, its largeness of life, where every noble impulse 
is itself ennobled, all combined to make him an 
ardent lover of its services. Almost his first pulpit 
triumphs were on this iield ; and, to his last days, he 
cherished a warm attachment for its altars. 

He began this life with the beginning of his min- 
istry. The first year of his Saugus history, he is off 
in Connecticut, attending a camp-meeting, and as- 
tonishing the people by his wit and eloquence. 

In 1816, he attended a camp-meeting at East Hart- 

222 



IN CAMP-MEETING. 223 

ford, piobably on his peddler's cart. He preached a 
very remarkable sermon on the text, " And the chil- 
di'en of Israel did eat manna forty years," — a text 
as remarkable for its felicity of fitness as any sermon 
could be. The discourse made a great sensation and 
impression on the meeting ; so that it was the con- 
stant theme of remark, as they met each other, " Have 
you had any manna to-day ? " 

In 1817, he preached at the same place on, " Come 
thou with us," crying out, " You Hobab, come with 
us ; we are going to a holy land ! " 

These two sermons typified his future career. He 
" ate manna " for over forty years, and has reached 
" the holy land." 

At this same camp-meeting (1817), he uttered 
another remembered word. In preaching on Phil, 
iv. 19, " But my God shall supply all your need ac- 
cording to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus," he 
said he should " not spend time in introductory re- 
marks, as a hungry man would not spend half an hour 
whetting his knife and fork before he began to eat." 

" My God will supply all, not a part, of your 
need," he said. " This means sanctiflcation. Is it 
needed ? If it is, it will be supplied. But the ob- 
jector might say, the apostle did not mean sanctiflca- 
tion. I think he did. I am going to see Paul one 
of these days, and I will ask him ; and I believe he 
will tell me that it was the very but-end of his mean- 
ing. Now, if you will tell me how rich God is iu 
glory by Christ Jesus, I will tell you what the Chris- 
tian may enjoy." 



224 FATHER TAYLOK. 

A year or two later, at a camp-meeting, describing 
tlie backslider, he said, "I would rather dig up a 
well than dig up his hope." 

At another meeting, advising young converts to join 
tie Church, and seeking to warn them against pros- 
elyters, who were then exceedingly busy and success- 
ful with Methodist converts, he said, " If you don't 
want a mother-in-law, go home and join the Church 
that bore you." 

He ranged through Connecticut for several years 
in this delightful service. He was then in the height 
of his youthful popularity and power, exceedingly 
faithful, going from tent to tent, exhorting, praying,, 
singing, with ceaseless ardor. The zeal of the house 
of the Lord was eating him up ; but, like the burn- 
ing bush, he was not consumed by the passion for 
Christ and souls which inflamed him. Crowds fol- 
lowed him as he moved around the ground. The 
young Christians hung on his lips with untiring de- 
votion. He was fall of faith and the Holy Ghost. 
Summerfield did not surpass him in warmth or energy 
or pathos or power. He was far below him in keen 
wit and imagery. 

In one of these meetings, he preached on the wax 
between Christ and Belial. He strode up and down 
the platform, di-iving the enemies of Christ far over 
the horizon with the magic wand of his imagination, 
and setting his audience in a whirl of excitement 
over his remarkable power of military description. 

On another occasion, preaching on Moses " choosing 
rather to suffer affliction with the people of God than 



IN CAMP-MEETIKG. 225 

10 enjoy .the pleasures of sin for a season," he dwelt 
on the last point first, — the pleasures of sin. He said, 
" Sinners, you have your fine horses and farms and 
houses ; but it is for a season. You delight in j'out 
ruffled bosoms, and gay apparel, and gilt ornaments ; 
but it is — for a season. You indulge in j^our un- 
holy appetites and passions, running riot in plesis- 
urable sin ; but it is — for a season, — for a season ! " 
Having rung these solemn changes for some time, 
until the audience was greatly affected, he turned to 
the Christian side of the parallel, — suffering afflic- 
tion with the people of God. "You are despised 
of your rich and sinful neighbors ; but it is for a sea- 
sun. You are hated and persecuted for righteous- 
ness' sake ; but it is — for a season. You are cast 
out as evil, and trodden under foot of men : it is only 
for a season, — for a season! " Tears fell profusely, 
Bud great sobbing and rejoicing testified to the won- 
drous power of the man of God. 

When the roughs had been troubling a meeting 
with their mischief, and, among other misdeeds, cut 
harnesses and stole linchpins, Father Taylor broke 
upon them from the sland, by exclaiming, " Jesus 
Christ rides in a golden chariot. You can't steal the 
linchpin out of his wagon." 

Preaching on Aaron's rod becoming a serpent, and 
swallowing up the others, he said, " His serpent, being 
hungry, ate 'em up, and made a breakfast of them all." 

In 1827, at the camp-meeting held on Martha's 
Vineyard, while speaking of the privileges of the 
followers of Christ, he said, " Some, when they wor- 
15. 



226 FATHER TAYI.OK. 

ship God, stand at an awful distance, and, covering 
their faces, cry, " Jehovah." But it is our blessed 
privilege to draw near, through Jesus Christ, and lov- 
ingly say, 'Abba, Father: my Lord and my God.' " 
The hearty " araens " and shouts of " glory" attested 
the agreement of his brethren in this experience. 

His chief place of camp-meeting hfe and joy was 
Eastham, for nearly half a century one of the most 
famous and most successful of camp-grounds. The 
venerable Isaac Jennison, now over eighty years old, 
thus describes its origin, which occurred at Wellfleetj 
three or four miles below where it was soon after 
located : — 

" Some thirty or more members of the Methodist 
Church in Boston, with seven ministers, left in a small 
packet for Wellfleet, to hold a camp-meeting there, 
about twelve o'clock sabbath night, Aug. 9, 1819. 
While passing the Boston Light, a fearful thunder- 
cloud overtook us. The lightning and rain exceeded 
any thing I had ever seen or heard. It caused much 
confusion among the passengers ; some shouting, some 
praying and crying for mercy. The lightning struck 
the mast ; and the captain, standing near it, was strick- 
en to the deck unhurt. No one was seriously injured. 

" Tiie remainder of our passage was pleasant. 
When we reached the shore, we found a lot of lum- 
ber destined to build the seats for the meeting, but 
no men nor teams to convey it to the place of wor- 
ship. Taking it on our shoulders, we climbed the 
sandbank, carrying it fifteen or more rods to the 
grove. When we had done this heavy job, Brother 



JN CA.MP-MEETI>iG. 227 

Taylor, putting a half-dollar in my hand, sa d, ' Take 
it, and go to work putting up the seats,' taking hold 
with me in his usual way of doing every thing. At it 
we all went; and by night our seats and all were ready 
for the first camp-meeting on the Cape. By this t;me 
we all were very tii-ed ; and, a few prayers being 
offered, all rested in our few small tents very happily. 

" Tuesday morning, Aug. 10, 1819, the opening 
services of this first meeting were conducted by our 
now venerable brother, Benjamin R. Hoyt. One item 
in his remarks I shall never forget. Said he, ' We 
don't want a fire kindled from shavings, that will soon 
go out, but a fire from solid wood, that will last.' 
This was fully realized then and since, not on the 
Cape only, but more or less at the Vineyard, Hamil- 
ton, and many other parts of New England. 

" Brother Taylor, who was one of the seven, preached 
a remarkable sermon on the character of Naaman the 
leper. In his introduction, he described the little 
maid in Naaman's family. In glowing terms he 
presented him in his splendid chariot, with his 
fine horses, and their gilded harnesses, driven by 
his servant to the door of the old prophet, calling 
him to come out and pass his hand over him and 
heal him; how, when he was ordered to go dip 
himself in Jordan, he turned away in a rage. He 
so described his coming up from the river, that we 
could almost see the healed man as the water dripped 
from him. All this was done in his best style. 

" The names of the seven ministers, who went from 
Boston in company with the members of the Church, 



228 FATHER TAYLOR. 

are Timothy Merritt, Benjamin 11. Hoyt, Bartholo- 
mew Otheman, Wilbur Fisk, Samuel Sno\¥(ieu, Ed- 
ward T. Taylor, and Isaac Jennison. Three of us 
only remain, — Hoyt, Otheman, and Jennison, and 
\\ e feel we are 

' Brushing the dews on Jordan's banks : 
The crossing must be near.' 

When we compare the present state of the Church 
with its wealth and means oi doing good, we should 
be humble and thankful. Our camp-grounds are not, 
as that at Wellfleet, without seats, or preacher's 
stand, or tents. Now all these are made ready, with 
beautiful cottages and other accommodations. In 
view of all this, we, with hearts filled with love to 
God and man, like our fathers, should go to save souls 
by thousands. Then wiU these meetings be crowned 
with Pentecostal fire." 

At a camp-meeting at Sandwich, a company of 
men were making disturbance, and he had been ur- 
ging them from the stand to behave. They gave no 
heed to his remarks. He then took up his cane, and 
started for them, saying, " Well, if I can't get the 
Devil out of you in any other way, I will cane him 
out." All was quiet at once. 

The meetings of those days were not only dis- 
turbed during their sessions by lewd fellows of the 
baser sort, but even in Boston, before they left the 
wliarf, they were subject to mob violence. As late 
as 1830, when the passengers were coming aboard, 
the roughs of the city came howling around the ves- 



IN CAMP-MEETING. 229 

sel, and making all manner of riotous disturbance. 
Father Taylor appeared to the lescue. His pres- 
ence charmed them ; and as he prayed that when 
" we return we may meet them walking the 
streets, praising God,"they were stilled into silence 
and awe. 

He tried a rougher way in a Connecticut meeting, 
in 1835. The ungodly made many attempts to dis- 
turb the worshippers. Officers of the law could not, 
or, at least, they did not, maintain order. The pre- 
siding elder called for volunteers to go out and arrest 
the disturbers of the peace. Father Taylor and Lewis 
Bates volunteered, and went just outside of the cir- 
cle where the ringleader of the lawless band proposed 
to match himself againsC any man the meeting would 
produce. Taylor spoke in behalf of the camp-meet- 
ing, and, pointing to Father Bates, said, " There is 
your man." Father Bates was in his prime, — a large, 
muscular man. The challenge was accepted, and the 
bold rowdy grasped the minister by the collar ; but 
the next moment he was in the dust, at the mercy of 
his opponent. His comrades came to his rescue ; but 
Father Taylor interfered, saying, that, if they did not 
stand back, he would- " open a whole broadside upon 
them." The fallen leader was conquered ; and Mr. 
Bates said, " that if he would repeat a prayer after 
him, and promise good behavior for the future, he 
5vouldlet him go." He at last complied. Rising to 
his feet, he and his followers marched ofP, while Tay- 
lor and Bates sang the doxology, — 

" Praise God, from whom all blessings flow." 



230 KATHKR TAYLOR. 

He was uot very quiet and orderly himself in these 
days of his strength, as this incident shows : — 

At one of the old Easthara camp-meetings, on 
the last night of the feast, at a late hour, when all 
religious exercises in the tents had ceased, and the 
people generally had retired to rest, a happy band, 
led on by Father Snowden, had gathered at the 
centre of the encampment, and were giving expres- 
sion to their experiences in peculiar songs of praise, 
one of which had for its chorus, " We'll feed on milk 
and honey" &c. Tiiis was a new ditty, and, being a 
great favorite, had already been repeated several 
times on this occasion, when the preachers, who could 
no longer sleep, sent out Father Taylor to have them 
refrain. He accordingly adjusted himself for the 
task, but was no sooner in their midst than his voice 
was heard, not in quelling, but in leading off the song 
with characteristic gusto. Father Sanborn then 
mounted the stand, and gravely entreated the com- 
pany to forbear, and let the ground be quiet. This 
being ineifectual, he again begged them to listen, 
saying, that, if they must continue, he hoped they 
would change their diet for some of the old wines, 
which were better. " Not so," said Father Taylor. 
" We have just taken up a new hive, and old things 
are passed away. Sing on, brethren : ' We'll feed 
on milk and hone3^' " 

On another of these happy occasions, he said, " I 
wouldn't thank Gabriel to come down with a coach 
and four and take me up to glory." 

At one of the Eastham meetings, a minister from the 



IN CAMP-MEETING. 231 

neighborhood, and of a different order, had written to 
the Boston papers a very bitter and unfair account of 
the meeting. The next year Father Taylor was in- 
formed that he was in the congregation. When the 
])reacher sat down, he rose and inquired whether the 
order last year was as good as this year, and whether 
the Congregationalists and Baptists enjoyed them- 
selves then as well as they do now. The answer was 
" Yes," from a great many lips. " Then," said Father 
Taylor, " the Lord knows I bid them welcome. But if 
all hands had such a good time last year, what did 
that fellow mean who wrote that miserable piece in 
that Boston paper about the Eastham camp-meeting ? 
If I owed the Devil a hypocrite, and he would not take 
him for his pay, I would cheat him out of the debt." 

So deep was his sense of the sanctity of this place, 
that, on one's remarking that he was going to East- 
ham, Father Taylor, thinking of the burning bush, 
said, " Wash your feet ! wash your feet ! " 

Dr. Charles Adams thus describes his influence 
there, and the fondness for his presence : — 

" The Eastham camp-meeting was one of his fa- 
vorite yearly resorts ; and yet none seemed to know 
of his going, and rumors would pass around, that, for 
some reason, he could not.be of the company; and 
many hearts would be saddened at such a prospect, 
and deemed that the Old Eastham scenery would 
be lonely and cheerless without him. Yet, as the 
great crowded boat was just drifting from her moor- 
iuo-s, up would step the welcome form of Father Tay- 
lor, as if, only ten minutes before, he had concluded 



232 FATHEK TAYLOK. 

to join the multitude. Arriving and mitgling with 
the throng, whether any particular tent claimed him 
as its guest, I never knew or inquired. He seemed 
at home everyvi^here ; while his bearing and modes 
at the meeting seemed like those of a father beloved 
sitting among his children, now here, now there, 
within the goodly tabernacles. I sometimes con- 
ceived the idea that amid the Eastham scenery and 
worsliip his demeanor was different from what was 
usual. It seemed to be with him eminently a season 
of calm repose. Quietly he moved hither and thith- 
er, in perfect sympathy with the songs and prayers 
and preachings. Leaving the laboring-oar with the 
junior men, he had the seeming of giving himself 
up to a pleasant resting-time, dispensing here and 
there his hearty greetings, and gathering,- amid those 
sylvan shades and brilliant days and kindred souls, a 
new strength for subsequent and toilsome labors." 

His last visit to a camp-ground was at Martha's 
Vineyard, the summer before he died. With the in- 
stinct of a veteran soldier for his famous fields, he 
sought these scenes of his earliest labors and tri- 
umphs. With his faithful attendant, he occupied a 
tent there for some time. He attended a Sunday 
service which we were conducting, protesting that it 
could not go forward aright without his presence. 
Under the fluttering leaves, in that balmy air, sat the 
trembling veteran, his thin gray locks glowing in the 
flickering sunlight like an aureola. He came to us as 
was his wont, flung his arms about our neck, and im- 
printed his holy kiss on a cheek that foolishly blushed 



IN CAMP-MEfaTING. 233 

at sucli public salutation in the presence of a large 
congregation. Yet it did not seem out of place to 
him. For fifty-five years he had rejoiced in such 
services. He will rejoice in them forever ; for a 
Christian's faith is an Indian's scripturalized. And 
his sweet fields beyond the swelling flood, his river 
of the water of life, and the trees that grow upon, 
its banks, only reproduce the millennial groves of a 
(.,'hristian camji-ground in purer and more permanent 
excellence. How will his spirit exult there, as here, 
in its holy refreshments I . 



XIV. 

IS THE PREACHERS' MEETING. 

The Meeting : its Origin, Aimless Aim, Liberty of Prophesying. — His Dciight 
in it. — How he mingled in the Fray. — His Insight. — Few D6brib.— '■ A 
BaJ=ket of Live Eels." — His Speech done into Rhymes. — A Field-Day in 
which all fight and run away. — '' G-eniasses " at a Discount. — The Plagues 
of Egypt plaguing his Plearers. — Advice to Jackals and Young Lions. — 
Turtles on a Log. — Defends the Old Prophetic Fire. — Calls Attention to the 
Boston Heathen. — Conflict of his Study and Work. — A Bear climb- 
ing a G-reased Pole, — His own Questions. — A Dismal Swamp. — His Last 
Haunt. 

"1VT"0 memorabilia of Father Taylor would be com- 
_L^I plete that omitted the Boston Methodist Preach- 
ers' Meeting. This was one of his choicest fields for 
recreation. A small gathering of these preachers of 
Boston and vicinity began in 1845, in the Bromfield- 
street Church ; thence it moved to a room over the 
Methodist bookstore, No. 5 Cornhill ; and, after stay- 
ing there and thereabouts for a score of years, came 
to its present rest in the Wesleyan Association Hall. 
This meeting, convened first for conversation on 
church matters, swept into a broader range, and 
soon began to meddle with all topics of thought in 
theology and ethics. The ministers try those lances 
on each other which they have hurled the day before 
at their common foes. The papers and debates are 

234 



IN THE PREACHERS' MEETING. 235 

often of the most thorough and pungent sort. There 
are memories of field-days, when the giants wrestled 
over .debatable themes in martial style. The lines 
are usually confined to orthodox sentiments, though 
some bold riders leap over these bounds in the wild- 
ness of the play, and advance views which savor of 
the broadest spirit of unbelief. Yet this is only 
play, and they soon withdraw to the self-approved 
lines. But the range within these boundaries is very 
large ; and the relation of the foreknowledge of God 
to the free-will of man, the personality and history 
of Satan, the pre-existence of Christ, the degree of 
scriptural inspiration, the relation of the infant tc 
Christ, the relation of miracles to law, the resurrec- 
tion of the body, the states of Christian development 
and their attainment, — these are samples of its range 
of themes. In debating them, sometimes an essayist 
leads the column, sometimes disputants ; but, after 
the first steps are formally taken, the fray becomes 
general. The president holds the contesting forces 
steadily to the rules, and for an hour or two the fires 
fly from every flint. In such melies Father Tay- 
lor pre-eminently delighted. He was always in his 
place. 

Up the narrow iron staircase of the little old Corn- 
hill store he laboriously climbed, pat his gold-headed 
cane, his constant companion, on the long central 
table, took a privileged chair near the president, and 
watched the opening of the fight. He rarely led off. 
Others did the heavy business of dragging the traiii 
up the grade. It was his to hurry it along after it 



236 FATHER TAYLOR. 

was well in motion. His eye turned swiftly on each 
speaker, flashing approval or dissent ; his head nodded 
ditto to the eye, and interjections of a like character 
followed the head ; his cane was sometimes grasped 
and waved in defiance at the speaker, whom he was 
inclined to resist. After these preliminary motions 
had increased to an uncontrollable pitch, he boiled 
over into speech. Getting out of his chair with 
difficulty, he flung himself into the field with perfect 
impartiality. On this side and that, it mattered noth- 
ing which, he poured forth his treasures of wit, fancy, 
sarcasm, eloquence, for half an hour, to the ceaseless 
delight and applause of his sympathetic hearers. 
They cared nothing for his argument, and every 
thing for his putting of it. They were all given a 
rebuff and a compliment : the side he professed to es- 
pouse felt but little actual support from his arm ; and 
the side he professed to oppose, but little harm. It 
was a pyrotechnic display, and " the chartered liber- 
tine," as he more truly was than any man of his 
time, ranged, " like the air," over all the field of strife, 
cuffing and kissing both friend and foe. 

But it was not all fireworks. The thought was as 
deep as it was bright. He touched the foundation 
of things : he lifted the principles involved in the 
dispute into the highest plane of ideal thought ; he 
grasped the pillars of truth. The speeches were lec- 
tures on theology that would have taught the doctors 
more than they ever knew. As a lightning-flash may 
reveal abysses to the bottom- that the steady travelling 
eye can never explore ; so the piercing eye of his 



IN THE PREACHERS- MEETING. 237 

imagination dove to the deepest of the things of 
God, and illuminated their recesses in a single ray. 
But it was only a ray. He could not build up the 
argument from these deep foundations. No one 
could. He could enunciate a principle, so that it 
was impossible not to see it ; but to connect that logi- 
cally, layer by layer, with the whole economy of man 
and God, of nature and snpernature, this was not his 
province. Whose is it ? Who can reconcile " free- 
will, fixed fate, foreknowledge absolute " ? Men, 
no less than Milton's devils, in such attempts " find 
no end, in wandering mazes lost." 

Father Taylor was nearest right, therefore, when 
he simply asserted axioms, and attempted no unifica- 
tion of them. 

Few dSbris of this mountain of light remain. 
There are only the dullest records kept of this bright- 
est of seasons, — the ashes and spelter of a brilliant 
flame. The secretaries write the question, and that 
so-and-so spoke. Among these so-and-sos, the name 
of Father Taylor almost always occurred for more 
than a. dozen years. He was always present, and 
always sharing in the fight. On these themes he is 
put down as-speaking, " Concerning fugitive slaves;" 
" What constitutes depravity in a child? " "In what 
does the moral law consist ? " " Is it expedient to 
divide the Methodist-Episcopal Church into dis- 
tricts ? " " Is baptism essential to admission to the 
Lord's Supper ? " " Was the crucifixion of Christ 
necessary to the perfection of the Atonement ? " "Are 
all events foreloiown as certain ? " One secretary 



238 FATHER TAYLOR. 

alone was not contented to do no more than say that 
" Father Taylor spoke in his peculiar and eloquent 
manner," or " in his characteristic style." Rev. 
William S. Studley had an eye to art, and employed 
his hour in pen-portraits of the speakers, and sketches 
of their speeches. From his dynasty, which covered 
the last half of the year 1852, we gather nearly all 
our extracts. A limited record for what was, in some 
respects, the most brilliant of his life strata. 

Sept. 13 is his first entry of this name. He re- 
lates how he described this meeting, a portraiture 
that fits perfectly to its design and scope, which is 
only to talk and not to do. He says, " Father Taylor 
said that the meeting was very like a basket of live 
eels : it lacked stiffening, solidity, and stability." 
Such a stiffening would have simply changed it into 
dead eels, and not improved it either in form or 
power : it was meant to be a rest from Sunday, a cleri- 
cal recreation that was harmless and healthful. Eels, 
not snakes ; live eels, not dead ones ; electric eels if 
possible, if not, the common sort, which it was as im- 
possible as it was undesirable to lay out straight. 

This same session,, the question for discussion was, 
" Is the death of the body a part of the penal conse- 
quences of sin ? " and Father Taylor, it is said, " made 
a characteristic speech, in which he very decidedly 
kicked Adam out of his theology, and put John Wes- 
ley into a half-bushel." Two weeks after, Sept. 
27, we find the question in debate to be, " Is the 
argument from design sufficient to prove the exist- 
ence of God ? " On this the secretary says, " Father 



IN THE PRKACHEES' MEETING. 239 

Taylor took up the sentimentalists of the transcen- 
dental school, who profess to see God in every thing, 
who is every way worthy of worship, and riddled 
them fore and aft." He puts the rest of his speech 
into poetic form, breaking forth in this shape : — 

" Can I love God by smelling of a flower, 
When that brief act may kill rae in an hour ? 
Or can I proof of a-Creator see, 
Worthy of worship, when some ugly bee 
Which God hath made may put in me his sting, 
Because I take him to admire his wing ? 
Or seeing robins eating up my cherries ? 
Or being poisoned eating pretty berries ? 
Or shall I love God, when my very bones 
May soon be broke by meteoric stones ? 
No I Nature fails to win my mind and heart, 
By what she shows me of design and art : 
My soul no God can see in heaven above 
Who does not show Himself a God of love." 

After this outburst, the secretary modestly adds, 
" This is the sum-total of Father Taylor's senti- 
ments." 

Oct. 11, he describes one of these sham-fights 
with a point and vigor, that the London correspond- 
ents from like bloodless fields of British strife might 
, profitably imitate. It was. on the question of " de- 
sign," and is thus briefly put : — 

" Brother Denison opened the campaign by send- 
ing a bombshell into the camp -of the enemy who 
affirms the insufficiency of the ' design ' argument. 
A portion of the shell struck Brother CnmTaings, and, 



240 FATHER TAYLOR. 

iiiriteud of liaving the effect to knock out his brains, 
only knoclied up his organ of combativeness, and led 
him to point his battery against the " design "-ers 
with destructive precision. Brother Crowell, bear- 
ing a flag of truce, put some questions touching 
the causes of such a fearful fight, and retired from 
the field. Brother Cobleigh brought his forces to 
bear on the right wing of the army of " design," and 
broke their lines. Brother Merrill ran across the 
field, and endeavored to rally the scattering forces. 
Father Taylor threw fire into the magazines of both 
armies, and in the smoke of the explosion all the 
combatants ran away." 

It will be seen that Father Tajdor characteristi- 
cally concludes the day. 

A week later the question was up, " Is the evi- 
dence f]'om miracles sufficient to prove the divine 
origin of a work claiming to be a revelation of God ? " 
In this debate Father Taylor is reported to have 
" cut, slashed, banged, whacked, pounded, pommelled, 
shot, stabbed, and finally annihilated Hume, and all 
his dastardly doctrines and disciples," — a description 
that shows at once the liveliness of the Don Quixote 
and his trusty scribe. 

On the same subject, two weeks later, the writer 
writes, — 

" Father Taylor spoke ; and, when the secretary re- 
cords the fact that Father Taylor speaks, he wishes 
to be understood as saying, that, in nine cases out of 
ten, the battering-ram of his common sense knocks up 
and knocks down the whole posse of practical athe- 



IN THE PREACHERS' MEETING. 241 

ists in the shape of Abby Folsoms, Tlieodore Parkers, 
and kindred geniasses ! " 

Again, lie appears on the question of miracles, and 
thus puts the Mosaic encounter with the Jannes and 
Jambres : — 

" Father Taylor got on his high-heel, artistic boots, 
and painted a glowing and magnificent picture of the 
Mosaic miracles, till the brethren saw the snakes 
sqiiirm, heard the frogs croak, felt the lice bite, 
brushed the flies out of their faces, and saw the Is- 
raelites march out of Egypt ! " 

Dec. 20, Father Taylor seeks to relieve some ten- 
der consciences, who feared that this exuberance of 
debate might harm the ministerial reputation : — 

" He suggested that the jackals outside, who prowl 
around, feeding upon the offal which the lions refuse, 
be left unmolested at their dirty work ; and that 
those young lions whose, stomachs are too weak 
for tansy-tea be advised to confine themselves to 
catnip." 

Jan. 3, 1853, he " describes, in sober and affecting 
terms, the life, death, and character of his friend, 
Amos Lawrence." 

Another record reads, " He threw out some very 
excellent, hints in relation to the nonsensical notions 
entertained by many people that God is in every 
( hing, even in dead dogs and the Devil," — a vein 
like that he worked a few weeks before, and whioh 
exhibited an adhesion to one side for a length of 
time that hardly agreed with his own nature or the 

freedom of the debate. 

1.; 



242 FATHER TAYLOR. 

He entered into the ceaseless conflict in his church 
on the subject of sanctification, and represented some 
of the advocates of the higher views as " turtles on 
a log, each one endeavoring to crowd his neighbor 
into tlie water." 

Rev. Mr. Studley gives no further phrases fi.-om 
these fluent lips. The secretaries of following years 
note his presence and participation, but rarely record 
his words. We are told that " Father Taylor said 
some very hard things, and threw some very hot 
shot," which was no doubt true, but this hardness is 
not solidified into inky shapes ; that he " made enter- 
taining remarks ; " that he " protested, after his sort, 
against the idea that God would doom any one, Jew 
or Gentile, to perdition, because of the remissness of 
a third party ; " that he " made a chain-lightning 
speech, scathing the ministers who claim to elevate the 
Church by learning, logic, and oratory without the 
old fashioned. Holy Ghost, Methodistic fire." * 

He also launches on another of his favorite themes 
(April 30, 1860), — the superiority of the home over 
the foreign missionary work. 

" The wants of the city of Boston were as great 
as heatlien cities, — the most compact city in the 
world ; between seventy and eighty thousand in it, 
piled one upon another, who never entered a church : 



*Thi8 minute is made .January, 18S0, by Rev. T. Willard Lewis, who 
afterwards, in South Carolina, from the opening of Beaufort to Sep- 
tember, 1871, revealed this " Holy-Ghost " ability in feuch heroic labors 
in the Southern Held as have won him an earthly, no less than a heavenly 
hnmortality. 



IN THE PREACHERS' MEETING. 243 

yet we send men from these who are starving for the 
bread of life off to the heatlien lands, at great ex- 
pense ; and if one, after long labor and thousands of 
dollars expended, gets galvanized, a hundred guns 
must be fired at home ! " 

In a debate on study, he explains his remissness, 
or defends it rather ; for a man who loves study for 
its own sake will let no sach impediments block his 
way. It gives, however, a glimpse of his active life 
in its busiest period. The secretary writes that he 
said, — 

" His life was veiy mucli like that of a bear climb- 
ing a greased pole. He had his study and his books, 
and he was often among them ; but by the time he had 
opened one his door-beU would ring, and he must go 
down, hear a long yarn, and then bow the interrupter 
out as gracefully as possible, and return to his books ; 
but by the time one is again fairly opened,the door-bell 
jingles again, and down he goes, -scratching his head, 
and often not a little out of humor : and thus his life 
is spent in going from his study to the door, and from 
his door to his study." 

We find him proposing questions for discussion, 
that typify his own mind, " What is the Church ? " 
and " What has man lost through Adam ? " but his 
remarks, if he made any, on these wide-ranging 
themes, are not given. His name appears less fre- 
quently as a debater, and in the last few years almost 
entirely disappears. He still frequented its haunts. 

When so feeble that he did not dream of going 
elsewhere, he crept to his old seat. The brethren 



244 FATHEK TAYLOR. 

rose up to do him reverence. As our friend, the sec- 
retary, says at the opening of his record, "Father 
Taylor was received with very cordial demonstrations 
of welcome by the brethren, from his protracted and 
regretted absence." Such '' cordial demonstrations 
of welcome " awaited him to the end. He was never 
more at home, and never more warmly welcomed, than 
here: He lived to attend them in their new and 
spacious quarters, and rejoiced to the last in their vi- 
vacity and brotherliness. One of his last bright 
sayings was dropped in connection with this assem- 
blage. Though he seldom spoke, he was still a good 
listener, shaking fist, head, and cane unto the last, in 
approval or dissent. After an able argument by a 
speaker on some topic too recondite for his enfeebled 
brain to delight in, he was asked his opinion of the 
speech. " It was like being in the Dismal Swamp," 
he said, " of a black midnight. You slump into bogs, 
and can't get out. The firetiies flash, and you fancy 
you see your way clear ; but they as quickly go out, 
and you are left in thicker darkness than before." 
Such a figure might not inaptly fit some of his 
own previous flashings in the mines or morasses 
of thought; whether mines or morasses, he could 
not tell," and did not care. 

The " basket of eels " still squirm, in eel-like delight ; 
but the most " electric eel " of all, who charged them 
with his magnetism, and was himself the more charged 
the more he discharged, — he is gone. Long will this 
pleasant gathering remember with affection and ad- 



IN THE preachers' MEETING. 245 

miration their brilliant companion and father, whose 
every look was love, whose every sting shot forth 
honey and not poison, who never struck in malice, and 
who carried all hearts in his all-embracing affection. 



XV. 



IN REFORMS. 

His Double Nature in Conflict. — Love of Reform and Fear of Reformer.— 
Partly due to his Virginia Birth. — Orange Scott and Dr. Bangs. — " Going 
to Hell Stern foremoBt." — A good Squeeze. ~ Abolitionists spying their 
Mother's Faults with a Microscope.' — Scaring the Big Fish from swallowing 
the Moon. — Praises Uncle Tom's Cabin, and shouts Hallelujah over the Per- 
dition of the Slave- Catcher. — Still despises the Abolitionists. — Stephen S. 
Foster an Angel in the House and a Devil on the Platform. — Gets Thomas 
Whittemore on the Hip. — A Black Skunk. — A Black Cloud. — Dr. Jewett's 
Portrait of him as a Temperance Lecturer, — At Bunker Hill, — "Boston 
can make a Cup of Tea of a Cargo, but cannot cork up a Gin-Jug." — At 
New York. — Hanging the Effect, and letting the Cause go Free. — Kicking 
the Rumscller into the Pacific. — At Easton. — Always in a Hurry. — Cross- 
ploughs Fine Paths. — A Gill of Rum and Molasses changes Men to Mur- 
derers. — Over "Whitefield's Bones. — The Drunkard the Worst Man on Earth 
except. — The Drunkard-Maker adding to the Punishment of Satan if sent to 
Hell. — " Might as well copy Chain- Lightning as report One of my Speeches." 
— The Grave of Intemperance, and its Gravestone as big as Jupiter. — An- 
gels hurling the Golden Pavements on the Heads of Rumsellers. — How the 
Dutchman got in his Grass. — Dislike of " Raisin-Water " as a Substitute for 
Sacramental Wine, or Dye-Stuff and Glue-Pot. — Hia Testimony before the 
Legislative Committee of 1867. — His Dying Hate of the Rumseller. 

THE peculiarities of Father Taylor were strik- 
ingly revealed when brought into relation to 
reforms. His moral sense, quick as the light, saw 
the iniquity in all its huge and horrid proportions. 
No anathemas were too severe for his lips. He did 
wtiU, he thoroughly believed, to be angry. But as 
th(3 social, ecclesiastical, and other relations of the 

24fi 



IN REFORMS. 247 

embedded evil rose before him, and he heard the in- 
considerate assaults of the axeman, not only on the 
tree of Upas, but also on the tree of Life, he felt for 
the truth. He feared that the uprooting of the tares 
would pull up the wheat also. He was alarmed for 
the State, the Church, and society. He waxed wroth 
against the very pruners and purgers of the vine, lest 
tliey should cut it up, root and branch. 

There was some reason for this dread ; for, in some 
of these movements, the stronger passion of the writer 
and speaker seemed directed against the truth itself 
more than against the error which had taken shelter 
under its roof. He could justly let loose his winds 
at such reformers, who would cast both right and 
wrong into the same burning. Yet he ought to have 
discerned between these assailants and others working 
beside them, who tenderly guarded the plant which 
they sought to relieve of its noxious and non-natural 
connections. He ought to have seen that no truth 
can suffer by the wrong assaults of earnest opponents 
of popular error ; that the Church and society will 
come out the more resplendent from the very flagel- 
lations to which they are thus subjected. He should 
have hailed the storm that broke up the sickening and 
progressionless calm. He should have cried to these 
chastisements as to private struggles with tempta- 
tion, — 

" Then welcome each rebuff 
That turns earth's smoothness rough, 
Each sting that bids nor sit, nor stand, but go 1 " 



248 FATHER TAYLOR. 

But, while the stuff was not in him that makes 
the cool, steadfast, unrelenting martyr, he possessed 
the impulses that spring to the front, the varying 
passion of the cavalry raider. He was not altogether 
a Breitmann, on all sides of the fight, though many of 
his friends fancied that was his favorite character. 
It was rather that Hamlet indecision which sees 
so many sides to every duty, that it loses nerve for 
any advance. Had he been of Hamlet's melancholy 
vein, he would have had his 

" Native hue of resolution 
All sicklied o'er with the pale cast of thought." 

But, being of the opposite temperament, he shot 
with Hamletian rapidity from side to side of the 
opposing battalions. Now he hugged Garrison to 
his heart as his best beloved, and now he crowned 
Webster with his gems of wit and compliment more 
dazzling than a monarch's diadem. 

In the church controversies he was equally impar- 
tial. The slow-going bishop and the fast-speeding 
radical were alike held in his all-embracing . arms. 
He would attack slavery and defend Virginia in the 
same breath. He clung to two pilots in this storm, 
— Church and State : whoever struck these struck 
him. They could have large liberty with the out- 
works, if they spared the citadel. 

Hence whatever of his words are remembered in 
connection with the two chief reforms of his age are 
strangely mixed. Wrath at each side — at reformei 



TK REFORMS, 243 

and conservative, at the reform and the evil — burns 
in his epithets. He came where two seas met, and 
ran his ship aground. He could not help it. There 
was no passage narrow enough for his keel. His 
moral instincts were at variance : he could not rec- 
oncile the work to be done and the doing of it. Yet 
lie shot the lightnings of his indignation against 
the wrong which his quick conscience discerned ; 
and it was quite safe to trust him on the platform 
against these sins, since he would assuredly grow 
in heat of feeling in the progress of his speech, and 
burn up the dross of vain fears, as to harm follow- 
ing the application of the truth to the hostile 
iniquity. When once out to sea, he would run mag- 
nificently before the wind. The audience delighted 
in his effort ; and the shrewd managers, who felt 
that they had caught a Tartar in his opening words, 
rejoiced that the Tartar had soon become a tractable 
rider of their own steed, and had borne their stand- 
ard all the farther on to victory from his preliminary 
conuetting with the enemy. 

He had been brought up among slaves: the first 
children he ever played with, all he ever played with, 
were slaves. He was not instinctively driven to re- 
form, as is the YanKee-born. A Virginian's indiffer- 
ence to social evils slumbered in his veins. He was 
proud of his native soil. It was sacred to him. So, 
when he heard the system and State alike condemned, 
he refused to discriminate. He was indignant at the 
assailant of Virginia, and cloaked her faults against 
such a north wind. 



250 FATHER TAYLOR. 

The Church reeled on the gulf of Secession. He 
loved it as the apple of his eye. He saw its minis- 
ters abasing it, and he shouted, " Away with these 
fellows that strike their holy mother ! they are not 
fit to live." His wrath burned at the men, who, he 
feared, were wrecking the ship, more than at the 
cargo she was criminally carrying. 

Yet he shot back and forward between the con. 
tending hosts and ideas, faithful alike to his two 
central forces, — love of ideal truth, love of organic 
form. Truth must not shatter form : organism must 
not stifle truth. 

He met this conflict first in his church. Rev. Or- 
ange Scott, by far the most distinguished of the 
Methodist leaders in the antislavery war, took early 
position on the Garrisonian platform, — immediate 
and unconditional emancipation. In 1835, he circu- 
lated "The Liberator" gratuitously among all the 
members of the Conference, being pastors of the 
Methodist churches in most of Massachusetts, all of 
Rhode Island, and half of Connecticut, and, in the 
following year, had a Conference Antislavery So- 
ciety organized on this basis. George Thompson de- 
livered one of his thrilling sermons before them (he 
was then a local preacher of the British Wesleyan 
Church) ; and they elected delegates to the General 
Conference of 1836, who, with a few others from 
New Hampshire and Maine, constituted the famous 
fourteen that stood against the multitude in affirm- 
ing that two of the body were not worthy of cen- 
sure for attending an antislavery prayer-meeting. 



IN REFORMS. 251 

Mr. Scott and his associates early met opposition 
from the conservative element in the conference and 
out. Dr. Bangs, of New York, was the chief of these 
antagonists. He appeared at the bar of the New- 
England Conference to complain of certain of its 
members for their course in this conflict. He failed 
to get a vote of censure. Mr. Scott and his friends 
were equal to the situation. They instituted like pro- 
ceedings against Dr. Bangs, in 1836, in the New- York 
Conference. This was as much under his sway as the 
New England was under that of Orange Scott ; and 
any expectation of a favorable verdict was as pre- 
posterous in the one case as the other. The courage 
of attacking and its moral consequences were all that 
could be gained by the movement. 

Mr. Scott commenced his courageous address by 
saying : " I know how this conference look upon the 
venerable Dj. Bangs, and how they look upon the 
odious Orange Scott; but I will say to Dr. Bangs, 
as Black Hawk said to Gen. Jackson, when he was 
President, as he reached, out his hand, ' Gen. Jackson, 
you are a man, sir, and I'm another.' " 

He went on to make some very strong statements 
and declarations. Father Taylor was listening to 
them with intense interest. He moved his spectacles 
back upon his head, and, raising himself up, said, 
" What ! what does the fellow mean ? Does te mean 
to go to hell stern foremost ? " 

But if he failed not to attack, he also failed not to 
love, as his son. Rev. O. W. Scott, illustrates : — 

" While attending the New-England Conference in 



252 FATHER TAYLOR. 

Lowell, Mass., in 1869, 1 met Father Taylor. Having 
never had the pleasure of exchanging a word with 
him, I advanced, held out my hand, told him I was 
' the son of my father,' and who he was, and that I 
liad a great desire to shake hands with him. 'Ah ! ' 
said he, and his eye and whole manner betokened 
the most cordial feeling, ' well, now, let's take hold 
and have a good squeeze ; ' and, I can assure you, it 
was such." 

In a discussion on this subject before his own con- 
ference, one speaker had referred to certain parts of 
the Constitution of the United States as being pro- 
slavery. Father Taylor, in reply, gave a ludicrous 
description of a man with a microscope searching for 
defects in the features of his own mother. 

In a discussion before a committee of the Massa- 
chusetts Legislature at the State House, involving 
church matters, Messrs. Scott and Horton made strong 
speeches against the pending bill, and depicted the 
fearful tyranny and despotic power of the bishops of 
the Methodist Episcopal Church. Father Taylor re- 
plied in a speech exhibiting remarkable resources, and 
turned the laugh on his opponents by a story of the 
savages of Nootka Sound, who turned out at mid- 
night with drums and toms-toms, and made a terrible 
noise, to scare away the big fish from swallowing the 
moon, as she was setting toward the sea. 

How he tried to balance himself, and failed, is well 
illustrated by this incident, narrated by Rev. Wil- 
liam McDonald : — 

" Calling on Father Taylor about the time ' Uncle 



IN REFORMS. 2o3 

Tom's Cabin' was issued, I found him greatly ex- 
cited over the book. He inquired if I had read it. 
I answered that I had not, — had not so much as 
seen it. ' Don't leave the city without it,' he said : 
' it is the greatest book ever published.' Then, in 
his peculiar style, he proceeded to describe Uncle 
Tom, Eva, Legree, &c. Finally, he said, ' McDonald, 
this slavery is damnable.' Then, clinching his fist 
and raising his voice, with a look of indescribable 
vengeance he said, ' McDonald, before I would as- 
sist one of those Southern devils to catch a nigger, 
I would see them all in hell; and I would shout 
hallelujah on to the end of it.' 

" ' B'^ather Taylor,' I said, ' I am surprised : you 
talk like a rabid abolitionist.' Then, throwing, if 
possible,- more vengeance into his look and action, he 
exclaimed, ' No : I despise them ! They have cursed 
the land.' " 

Going to hear one of the famous Garrisonians, Mr. 
Stephen S. Foster, and listening to his sturdy and 
undiscriminating blows at the Church, he was full of 
rage. But he not only did not let the sun go down 
on his wrath, he hardly let it make a meridian line 
of it. So, true to his double impulses of cordiality 
and hospitality, he invites the bitter iconoclast to 
his house. His genial talk quite disarmed his wrath- 
ful critic ; and, on his leaving, he mixed his stirrup- 
cup in this fashion : " Foster, you're a very angel in 
th^ house, but a very devil on the platform." 

He mixed a bitter, if not a bitterer, dose when, just 
after the passage of the " Fugitive Slave Law," ho 



254 FATHER TAYLOR. 

was standing at the door of tlie Methodist Book- 
store, No. 5 Cornhill, and Rev. Thomas Whittemore, 
the leading Universalist preacher, who was a very- 
strong abohtionist, was passing. " Well," said Father 
Taylor, " Brother Whittemore, are you and I gomg 
to turn slave-catchers, and do the dirty work of these 
miserable man-thieves ? " 

"No," said Mr. Whittemore, very indignantlj-, 
"No, no!" 

" No, no ! " said Father Taylor, with greater em- 
phasis, clapping him warmly on his back : " we'll see 
them all in hell first; won't we. Brother Whitte- 
more ? " 

Once he carried his Virginian and Northern caste- 
ness to the extreme of wit and impropriety. It 
may be remembered by some readers of this book 
(those who lived ten years ago), that the Northern 
prejudice against color was so severe, that no per- 
son of this complexion, however cleanly, could ap- 
proach the presence of some white people, unless 
as a servant, without their noses turning, as they 
thought instinctively, up into the air, and they in- 
wardly exclaiming, " Give me an ounce of civet, 
good apothecary." That sense, so keen, has almost 
utterly vanished ; but it was exceedingly potent in 
tliose far distant ante helium days. So he only copied 
the ruling instinct, as it was supposed to be, when he 
muttered to the ministers near by, as a poor black 
penitent drew near the camp^-meeting altar, with an 
odd mixture of Methodist rejoicing and American 
prejudice, " Bless the Lord, there's a black skunk 
pominsc I " 



IN REFORMS. 25F 

Yet he was liimself partial to people of color with 
a Southerner's partialitj^ and would gire them a kiss 
as freely as their whiter kindred. It was others, not 
himself," that he was thus satirizing. 

In the temperance reform, a similar, though less 
marked, contrariety exhibited itself. He was at the 
(irst one of its most valiant supporters. No one ever 
made more powerful speeches than he. He was 
called everywhere, and everywhere he went. He 
swept down drunkard and drunkard-maker with his 
mighty scythe. But when wine at the Sacrament, 
and Prohibition, and other movements of the reform, 
right or wrong, against the organism of Church and 
State, made their appearance, he flew over to the 
other side, and was as fierce in denouncing their inva- 
sions as he had been in denouncing the iniquities 
they assailed. Dr. Jewett, the well-known temper- 
ance advocate, recognized these traits in his character. 
In his autobiography, entitled " My Life- Work ; or. 
Forty Years' Fight with the Drink-Devil," he thus 
portrays the temperance career of Father Taylor, and 
gives an extract from one of those earlier speeches : — 

"Another gentleman of the clerical profession, 
who exerted considerable influence in favor of the 
cause during the second decade of its history, reck 
oning from its origin in 1826, was the Rev. E. T. 
Taylor of Boston, the very celebrated seamen's 
pi'eacher. During the period named, his voice was 
heard in nearly all the cities and large towns in New 
England -in favor of reform. A regard for strict 
truth, however, compels me to add, that his views on 



256 FATHER TAYLOR; 

the subject were greatly modified by surrounding 
circumstances, and tiiat the knowledge of that fact 
seriously impaired his influence. He was a man of 
impulse ; and the state of the weather, his health, or 
the character and conduct of his audience, or any 
circumstances which impressed him strongly at the 
time, determined the character of his utterances to a 
surprising extent. I have heard, at times, bursts of 
eloquence from him that produced with me, and I 
presume with all present, an absolute forgetfulness, 
for the moment, of all else on this planet or else- 
where, except the matter he was just then present- 
ing ; and I have heard him at other times, when I 
have been amazed at the utter inconsistency of his 
views, not only with any standard of doctrine recog- 
nized as sound by other men, but with his own pub- 
lic utterances of perhaps the week previous. His 
imagination, once fairly excited, could furnish in thir- 
ty minutes material for half a dozen speeches, of an 
hour each ; and unfortunately it frequently happened 
that different parts of the same speech could be used 
on opposite sides of the same question. He was, 
however, a man of honest purposes and strong and 
warm affection, as well as of varying moods. He 
drew large audiences, whatever subject he proposed 
to discuss ; for all men loved to hear Father Taylor. 
If he happened to be right, you rejoiced in the good 
he was doing ; if wrong, you were still charmed by 
the originality of his style, and the vivid word-pictures 
of men and things which, in one of his best efforts, 
followed each other in as rapid succession as do the 



IN REFORMS. 257 

varying scenes thrown on the canvas by a magic-lan- 
tern, when manipulated by skilful hands. 

" I have a very distinct recollection of his speech 
at a temperance soirSe, gotten up by the ladies 
of Charlestown, Mass., during the year 1843, if I 
rightly remember. All matters connected with it 
had been happily arranged, and Father Taylor 
was in one of his best moods. After presenting to 
the assembled throng some startling views of the ter- 
rible system on which the ladies were waging a 
pretty vigorous war, he closed with one of those 
bursts of eloquence which it would seem impossible to 
forget. Scores, perhaps hundreds, now living with- 
in sight of the granite shaft will remember the occa- 
sion ; and, if they shall peruse these pages, will bear 
witness to the accuracy of the report I am about to 
make of his words, after the lapse of nearly thirty 
years. 

'"And here it is yet, the accursed system, to 
plague and torture us, although we have exposed its 
villanies, until it would seem that Satan himself ought 
to be ashamed to have any connection with it. I am 
not sure but he is ; but some of his servants here- 
abouts have more brass and less shame than their 
master. Yes ! here it is yet ; and over there, too, in 
the great city, the ' Athens of America,' where the 
church-spires, as they point upward, are almost as 
thick as the masts of the shipping along the wharves, 
all the machinery of the drunkard-making, soul- 
destroying business is in perfect running order, from 
the low grog-holes on the docks, kept open to ruin 
17 



258 FATHER TAYLOK 

my poor sailor-boys, to the great establishments in 
Still House Square, which are pouring out the ele- 
ments of death even on God's holy day, and sending 
up the smoke of their torment for ever and ever! 
And your wives and daughters, even as they walk to 
the churches on Sunday, brush the very skirts of 
their silk dresses against the mouths of open grog- 
shops, that gape by the way. And your poorhouses 
are full, and your courts and prisons are filled, with 
the victims of this infernal rum traffic; and your 
homes and the hearts of your wives and mothers are 
full of sorrow: and yet the system is tolerated ! And, 
when we ask men what is to be done about it, they 
tell us that ' you can't help it ! ' No, you can't stop 
it ! and yet (darting across the platform, and point- 
ing in the direction of the monument, he exclaimed 
in a voice which pierced our ears like the blare of a 
trumpet) there is Bunker HiU ! And you say ' you 
can't stop it : ' and up yonder is Lexington and Con- 
cord, where your fathers fought for the right, and 
bled and died ; and you look on their monuments, and 
boast of the heroism of your fathers, and then tell 
us we must forever submit to be taxed and tortured 
by this accursed rum traffic, and we can't stop it ! 
No ! And yet (drawing himself up to full height, and 
expanding his naturaHy broad chest as though the 
words he would utter had blocked up the usual ave- 
nues of speech, and were about to force their way 
Dut by explosion, he exclaimed in a sort of whispered 
scream) your fathers, your patriotic fathers, could 
make a cup of tea for his Britannic Majesty out 



IN REFOEMS. 259 

of a whole cargo, but you can't cork up a gin-jug ! 
Ha ! '" . 

Rev. Dr. Wakeley describes an effoit in New 
York : — 

" As a temperance speech-maker, he was very pop 
ular in New- York City. I heard him in the old 
Tabernacle in Broadway. Mayor James Harper 
presided. Mr. Gough made the first speech : Mr. 
Taylor followed. He dwelt upon the evil of rum- 
seUing, — of the thousands of slaughter-pens in the 
city of New York. 

" Said he, ' You license a man, and he sells liquor to 
one, and it maddens his brain, and puts murder into 
his heart : he inurders, and you convict him and hang 
him. What do you do to the man who sold him the 
liquor, and made him a murderer ? You take off 
your hat to him, you make a low bow : you renew his 
license, and, perhaps, send him to the Legislature or 
to Congress. You hang the effect, and let the cause 
go. I go for hanging the cause.' 

" There was a rumseller followed the army into 
Mexico, and sold the soldiers rum. The first Gen. 
Taylor knew, a number of his soldiers were drunk. 
He inquired into the cause, and found that a man 
was selling them liquor ; and he said to him, ' If 
you do not quit this business, selling my soldiers rum, 
rU — I'll kick you into the United States.' Mr. 
Taylor said he had no objection to his kicking him, 
for he thought he deserved it ; but he had some ob- 
jections to his kicking him into the United States, for 
we had too many rumsellers here now. I would 



260 FATHEE TAYLOR. 

rather he would have kicked him the other way,— 
kicked him over the Rocky Mountains ; and then 
kicked him on to the shore of the Pacific, and then 
give him one more kick into the ocean, and then ask 
him, as the Quaker did, ' Friend, canst thou swim ? ' " 
Rev. W. A. Clapp gives a good description of one 
of these earlier orations: "In the autumn of 1836, 1 
think, it was announced that Rev. E. T. Taylor would 
lecture on temperance, in the Congregational Church 
at Easton, Mass., in a community whose tastes, re- 
garding the proprieties of life, were fastidious, almost 
to hypercriticism. Coming in his own carriage, he 
lost his way, and did not arrive at the place till an 
hour past the appointed time, when the congregation, 
a full house, were beginning to disperse. Stepping 
rapidly into the pulpit, he said to the pastor, ' Pray : 
I'm tired.' Prayer ended, he arose, threw back his 
coat-collar, rolled up his cuffs, ran his fingers back- 
ward through his hair, and, with folded arms, com- 
menced : ' Friends, you have asked me to lecture be- 
fore you on temperance ; but I can't lecture : I haven't 
time to prepare a lecture, being always in a hurry. 
I came here in a hurry, I am going home in a hurry, 
I live in a hurry, and shall some day die in a hurry. 
Nor would I lecture if I could. Your lectures are all 
macadamized: they are entertainments, where those 
go who dare not visit the theatre. I must cross- 
plough your fine paths. I am no man's model, no 
man's copyist, no man's agent : I go on my own 
book ; shall say what I please, and you may help 
yourselves.' 



IN REFORMS. 261 

He then announced his text, or motto, Hos. iv. 11 • 
' Wine and new wine take away the heart.' This 
he illustrated by numerous facts, related in his own 
inimitable manner. One was that of a vessel cap- 
tured by pirates. Tlie crew and passengers were all 
destroyed, except a young mother and her babe. 
None of the pirate crew would molest her. The as- 
tonished captain ordei'ed ' grog ' to be served, and 
soon his order for the death of mother and child was 
obeyed. 'Those men,' said the speaker, 'had a 
lieart till a gill of rum and molasses took it away.' 
V/hun he had finished his recital of those thrilling 
stories, that caused the liesh to creep, his manner 
changed ; and, with a cool, almost sardonic smile, he 
said, '•Shout, \i you want to, and I'll wait for you.' 
He paused. The silence was painful. ' Nobody says 
hurrah ! There is as much reason for it now as there 
will be till the monster is diiven from the world.' 
Thus he held them for nearly t-wo hours. As that 
community had any thing but friendly feelings toward 
the Methodists, I trembled for the result of his ' cross- 
ploughing ' manner. Much to my surprise, they were 
perfectly enamoured of the man and his lecture. They 
thought, and truly, they had never heard his like be- 
fore." 

Rev. William Rice sketches the most powerful in 
its effect on the audience of his temperance ad- 
dresses: — 

" Those who were present on the occasion will 
never forget the very powerful address on tem- 
perance delivered during the session of the New- 



262 FATHEE TAYLOR. 

England Conference in Newburyport, in 1851. The 
meeting was held in the Whitelield Presbyterian 
Church. ■ Father Taylor was the second speaker, 
and his address occupied nearly two hours ; and yet 
the audience listened with almost breathless interest 
to the end. 

" I occupied a seat in the pulpit, and found him, at 
the opening of the meeting, in a very uncomfortable 
inood. He criticised in a whisper the address of the 
speaker who preceded him, and declared, over and 
over again, that he liad nothing to say, no speech to 
make. I suggested to him that we were in the 
pulpit which Whitefield had occupied, and that he, 
would feel the inspiration of the place when his 
time came to speak. When he commenced, this un- 
comfortable mood seemed to be still upon him, and 
his first utterances led many of his hearei's to fear 
that his address would be a failure. But this fear 
soon passed away, and the spirit of the grand old 
pulpit-orator, whose bones were beneath us,- seemed 
indeed to inspire him. His address was far more 
methodical and logical in its arrangement than was 
usaal with him. He made three points: 1st, The 
drunkard ; 2d, The drunkard-maker, ; and 3d, The 
law. His first point was that 'the drunkard was 
the worst man on earth except.'' He then portrayed 
in terrible colors the crime and sin of the drunkard, 
the disgrace and misery of his family, the destruc- 
tion of his character, health, and life, and the ruin 
of his soul. 

*' On these points he arrayed with great power 



IN REFORMS. , 263 

against the drunkard the various passages of Scrip- 
ture whicli describe his woes, dwelling especially 
upon the text which declares that ' no drunkard can 
inherit the kingdom of heaven.' 

" Passing from his first point, he said, ' I told you 
that the drunkard was the worst man on earth except ; 
and now I come to the exception, — the drunkard- 
maker.'' I cannot give any idea of the burning, scath- 
ing words in which he described the heartlessness, 
tlie meanness, the more than infernal wickedness, of 
the . miscreants, who, for a mere pittance of filthy 
lucre, will deal out the deadly poison which withers 
happiness and hope, and utterly destroys body and 
soul. He charged home upon the drunkard-maker 
the crimes for which he is the responsible agent, and 
in that long list of crimes he found every species of 
reckless, cruel, and abominable villany ; and, in sum 
ming up, declared ' that Satan would protest kgainst 
companionship with such miscreants, and would regard 
it as an additional infliction of punishment to be com- 
pelled to receive them within the limits of hell.' His 
last point was the laiv. ' If the drunkard-maker is 
such an offender, if his business is the great source of 
all crime, w^hy should not the law recogniEe this fact, 
and punish the rumseller as the great criminal ? ' 

" I have barely suggested the points embraced in 
this wonderful address, by far the ablest and most 
eloquent, as a whole, to which I ever listened troiu 
Father Taylor. Power lay in its grand and awful pic- 
torial descriptions. These cannot be recalled : I have 
now only the vivid impression which was left upon 



264 FATHEE TAYLOR. 

my mind. Indeed, the remark which I once heard 
from Father Taylor, when requested to furnish for 
a reporter a copy of one of his speeches, might be 
made with reference to this address : ' I might as 
well give you a copy of chain-lightning.' " 

Speaking once before the Massachusetts Legisla- 
ture in favor of a prohibitory law, he cried out, " I 
want to see the grave of Intemperance dug, and a 
stone rolled upon it as big as Jupiter." The way he 
said it brought down the house with great enthu- 
siasm. 

In a temperance lecture, delivered in Father Bates's 
pulpit at Scituate Harbor, speaking of God's displeas- 
ure with rurasellers, he said, " I wonder that the an- 
gels in heaven do not tear up the golden pavements 
and throw them on their heads." 

At Norwich he described the rumseller as " Pump- 
ing thunder at three cents a glass." 

Describing the difference between moral and legal 
suasion, he said it might well be illustrated by the 
course of a certain Dutchman, who came to this 
country, bought him a farm, married a matter-of-fact 
Yankee girl, and commenced farming. In getting in 
his hay, he hired an old American, whom he kept 
on buttermilk and whey, and agreed to pay a shil- 
ling a day. The countryman began his work ; but 
every time he swung his scythe tardily through the 
grass he sung very slowly, — 

" Buttermilk and whey, 
And a shilling a day." 



IN EEFOEMS. 265 

The old Dutchman came into his house utterly dis- 
gusted, and said to his wife, " Mine frow, mine grass 
will never come in. That old fellow keeps saying, — 

' Buttermilk and whey, 
And a sliilling a day ; ' 

and mine grass will never come in." 

" I told you so," said his wife. " You must do as 
we do in this country : you must keep him on bacon 
and eggs, and give him a dollar a day." 

" Well," he said, " do as you please, mine frow." 
So she called up the workman, gave him a change 
of diet, and told him of the change in his wages, if he 
could earn it. The workman returned to the field, 
with scythe newly sharpened, and began mowing the 
grass with great rapidity, singing as he worked, 

"Bacon and eggs, 
And look out for your legs." 

The old Dutchman came rushing in to his house in 
great excitement, saying, " Mine frow, mine frow 1 
Mine grass is all coming in, and mine bushes too." 

" Moral suasion," said Father Taylor, " is like 

'Buttermilk and whey, 
And a shilling a day ; ' 

but legar suasion, well worked, is 

' Bacon and eggs, 
And look out for your legs.' " 



2G6 FATHER TAYLOR. 

He disliked those temperance reformers wlio souglit 
CO banish wine from the commrnion-table. The sub- 
stitute, which he called "raisin- water, "was specially 
an abomination to him. John A. Andrew used to 
relate an illustration of this feeling. "Father Tay- 
lor, in his old age, had struck a not unusual vein 
of feeling, and was speaking of his wishes for the 
government of the Bethel when he should be dead. 
All eyes were moist with tears, as he spoke of his 
hopes for the welfare of the Church, and of his faith 
that he should be allowed to look down upon the 
brethren. Then he added these words : — 

" ' When I am laid in the grave, I want the ordi- 
nance of the Lord's Supper administered in the very 
same way in which the Saviour was not too good to 
administer it. I want the emblems of the body bro- 
ken and the blood shed just as they came from my 
Master's hands ; and, in my name, cast from this 
cliurch any man that comes up to the altar with his 
glue-pot and his dye-stuff.' " 

The words, the tone, the gesture, and the counte- 
nance feebly expressed his unutterable contempt. He 
little thought how much of the wine that he thus 
used is the worst sort of dye-stuff, as every wine mer- 
chant knows well. 

He got far away from this original righteousness in 
his later years. The society in which he mostly 
moved encouraged the use of the wine-cup : the re- 
form gi'cw stagnant through the pressure of the wai 
and the weariness of the people to grapple sternly 
M ith the destroyer. 



IN EEFOEMS. 267 

He ceased to lecture on the subject, and even op- 
posed too much effort for its suppression. In this 
mood of mind he was called before the celebrated 
hearing of Gov. Andrew in 1867. His friend, the 
Governor, was not present when he appeared, and 
Hon. Linus Child, the assistant counsel, did not un- 
derstand how to draw the fire of the Admiral. There 
is much wit, if not wisdom, in some of his replies. 
This is his testimony as reported in the official volume 
of the State : — 

Question (by Mr. Child). How long have you been in Boston 1 

Answer. Oh ! not very long ; only about fifty years. 

Q. Have you had any thing to do with sailors during that period ? 

A. Yes, sir. From my boyhood I have been linked in with them, 
and expect to be until the time when wo will go aloft together. 

Q. "What has been your observation as to the progress of intemper- 
ance during the last ten or fifteen years ? 

A. There has been a very great improvement. 

Q. What caused this improvement among your people? 

A. An increased ardor and obedience to conscience and the laws of 
God, not for the stronger to leave the weaker to be devoured by tha 
wolves that seek those who are not able to defend themselves. 

Q. In regard to the number of places where these wolves are, how 
has it been during the last five years ? 

A. Multitudinous. I should think there was about a breastwork 
from the Square down to Charlestown Bridge. I believe that the rum- 
houses are scarcely out of sight one from the other. We have a plenty 
of idlers. Whether they live on air or steam, I know not. 

Q. What has the influence of that great number of places been upon 
the habit^of the peoplu in regard to temperance "i Do they lead astray ! 

A. Yes, sir. Every thing that possibly can be done is done. These 
people are followed from the houses to the ship ; and, when no other 
vessel can be obtained to get aboard the bewitching matter, they will 
have it in a bladder. 

Q. Hiis there been any diminution of these places since the prohib- 
itory law passed twelve or fifteen years ago ? 



268 FATHER TAYLOR. 

A. Prohibitory law ! I did not know that they had one. 

Q. Have these pliiccs for the last twelve or fifteen years been con 
stantly inci'easing or not? 

A. I think they have not died with age. They remain, and they 
are exceedingly plenty. It is painful to the eye to go down out 
street — North Street — until we get down to North Square, and see 
both sides barricaded with bottles in plenty, and plenty of loafers lying 
around them, that cannot get a living honestly, and must take it from 
somebody else. 

Q. Are you in favor of prohibitory law ? 

A. By no means. I have no right to punish the righteous with the 
wicked, and I ought, I suppose, to give a reason why. I think, sir, 
that a hotel is for something else besides setting a table and making a 
bed. With rapid and hard travelling, getting down to this our un- 
equalled and blessed city, travellers are racked iind tortured with theii 
long journeying. When they get here, they are liable, in our sadden 
changes, to contract diseases ; and I believe that no landlord ought to 
be allowed to keep a house merely for furnishing beef and potatoes, but 
he must take care of the health of his guests ; and while he has nothing 
in his house to supply them, and while he is sending for a doctor, dis- 
ease may get beyond recovery. The landlord ought to take care of his 
lodgers, and should be able to take care of them, until greater wisdom is 
brought. That is my explanation. I am %villing everybody should 
have it. I have never needed such things myself; but every man was 
not made with such a hide as I was, for I have seen noble men faint 
away. It was only four years ago that I was in Canada, where a num- 
ber of our hard-working business men were getting a little recreation; 
and they were so conscientious about temperance, that two or three per- 
sons lost their lives by getting heated from walking, and then drinking 
the lime-water that they have there ; for lime-water is all through that 
region. Two or three of these abstainers came to me and asked me 
what to do. I said to them, " Use a little brandy." But thoy were so 
conscientious upon that point that they would not. They soon passed 
away. This lime-water is in Cincinnati and a good many places, and 
many a noble young man or woman is taken away from want of wis- 
dom on this subject. Therefore I think it would be out of the question 
to forbid the use or the sale of spirit in all cases. -This prohibitory 
law shuts us in. Moreover' there is something else in this matter. I 
should not want to deny my God. The good book tells us that wine 
cheereth the heart of God and man. I should not want to raise mv 



IN EEFOEMS. 269 

hand against the hand of God. And I should not want to think that 
the world was so reduced ; and I do not believe we are so lost in the 
world. Yet, for my own part, I have not had use for these things • hut 
everybody is not so. 

Q. (By Mr. Spookek.) Do you not know that this necessity of 
which you speak is supplied by the present prohibitory law ? 

Q. (By Mr. Taylok.) What? Have you got a prohibitory law ? 

A. (By Mr. Spooner.) iTes, sir. 

A. Well, then, it must have a good many pockets. These glass 
jars, set in straw, are very easy things to carry, and it is very easy to 
get them filled. 

A. I believe they did. 

Q. How would a license law restrain it, if it was enforced as it was 
before ? 

A. I suppose the effect would be just the same, and just what it 
ought to be, under a consistent license law, with something at the back 
of that law to carry that law out ; not making a law, and putting it into 
the cradle, and rocking it with a lullaby; but letting it have a power 
and force and meaning in it. 

Q. I should like to ask you how a license law is going to be enforced 
against these unlicensed sellers any better than the present law? 

A. i should think that people would learn, by experience on this 
subject, that there is some difference between such a prudent, talented, 
honest, energetic man to use that fiery concern, and when it is let out 
to everybody ; and perhaps, if a good, clever fellow goes and makes a 
complaint to-day, he may get in a narrow place to-morrow. 

Q. I understand you to say that they do sell it everywhere ? 

A. I never knew that we ever did have a very restricting law ; for 
it never did work much, and I suppose it was never expected to do 
much. 

Q. Have yoa known of any attempts to work it in Boston that 
seemed to you inteijded to make it worse ? 

A. I think I have never seen any thing' from it worthy of the dignity 
of a law. 

The plea of Father Taylor, that liquor was needed 
in a hotel, as a medicine for occasional maladies, and 
should, therefore, be allowed to be sold freely to its 
guests, and that it should be drunk as a substitute foi 



270 KATILEE TAYLOK. 

lime-water, and that young men should so diink 
it, shows how greatly he had changed from that 
Father Taylor, who, from 1825 to 1850, made New 
England ring from side to side with his burning 
imprecations on drinker and seller. He still, how- 
ever, failed not to denounce the men Avho ruined his 
boys ; and his descriptions of the rapacity of these 
murderers, digging, as he sa,id, out of their stores 
through banks of snow ten feet high to get at their 
prey, their number, and the fact that the city had 
never attempted to suppress them, made his side 
see that they had more than they bargained for in 
this witness. The laugh was against them. Sam- 
son, in his blind old age, began to make the pil- 
lars and roof of free rum totter over the heads of its 
advocates, and he was gladly dismissed. He clung 
to the root of the truth in all his decay, and died, as 
he had lived, denouncing the rum-murderer, as the 
vilest member of society. 



XVT. 



ON SPECIAL OCCASIONS. 



In Prayer. — Intensely Earnest. — Sweep of Language. — Extraordinary Dis- 
cernment. — Every Hood of Soul finds Expression. — For the Brother 
who got lost in attempting to preach. — -'Ask the Lord for what you 
nted. " — "Will teach you to groan from the other Side of j^our Mouth. " — 
Pulpit on an Ox-cart. — Wrestling with Contrary Winds. — "Sweep hia 
Tracks off the Floor." — On the Appearance of the Cholera. — For President 
Lincoln, after Gov. Brownlow had preached. — "Don't let them go through 
the Sheathing of his Integrity." — " Watch when the First Drops fall." — 
" Who gives a Whale a Tun of Herring for a Breakfast." — Thanks for the 
Second Part of a Sermon. — " Will wade into the Water up to our Chins." 

— Pray for What ? — Sailors on " a Lark " with him. — Funeral Sermons. — 
" Hia Winding-sheet upon his Arm." — " There has been no Murder com- 
mitted in this House." — Visit to one awaiting Execution. — "I did not 
know it was you who committed it, my Son I " — The Baptism of Babes. — 
" Never created to be damned by a Fixed Decree." — " May it never cry for 
Bread!" — "Devil, go to your own Placel Angels, take the Baby!" — 
"A Baptism from Heaven." — His Theology agrees with his Feelings. 

— The Eucharist. — "I have got Something for you. Children." — Dra- 
matic Powers tested by Startling Events. — A Captain murdered at bea. 

— "A big Bowlder lays on tlie Main Hatch." — " Don't you hear the Bells 
of Heaven over the Sea?"— The Light in the Tent. 

IF Father Taylor was at home anywhere, it was in 
prayer. From the first he abounded in this grace 
also. His whole soul leaped up to his God and Sa- 
viour. The descent of the angel to Daniel, who, 
starting from the celestial courts after his prayer had 
begun, touche I him on his shoulder with the divine 

271 



272 FATHER TAYLOR. 

answer before he had concluded his petition, did not 
surpass in swiftness of wing the flight to the heav- 
ens, in his prayers, of this joyful believer. 

He was intensely earnest. In his earlier days, at 
family prayers where he was visiting, he would pound 
the chairs, and even raise them and bring them down 
upon the floor with all his might, in the intensity of 
]ns devotions. He would raise his voice as well as 
his chair, and make the region ring witli his private 
devotions. 

He was not a loud-mouthed Pharisee in this ha- 
ranguing of Heaven, nor was it defended on the 
ground thp colored brother put his vociferousness, that 
" it was commanded, for did not the Bible say, ' Our 
Father which art in heaven, hollered be thy name ' ? " 
He was simply earnest in his wrestlings with God. 
He loved to talk with him, as friend talketh with 
friend. He grew as heated and passionate in this 
discourse as in those he pronounced concerning him 
before his bar-bound creatures. It could be said of 
him in those earlier daj's, as of his Master, — 

" the midnight air 
Witnessed the fervr-r of his prayer." 

His sweep of language on such occasions was won- 
derful. The choicest word dropped into its place. 
The finest figures flew like plumed birds from his 
brain. Grace was upon his lips. The sea-phrases 
wove themselves into the language as easily as breezej- 
blow through the sails : their fitness was as remark- 
able as their freshness. He was at times almost 



ON SPECIAL OCCASIONS. 213 

endowed with superhuman discernment. Putting his 
hiind on a lad's head, who was bowed before him 
at the altar, he said tenderly, "Joseph, keep out of 
harm's way." And the boy, one of whose names was 
Joseph, but not that by which he was known, and he 
not known at all to Father Taylor, felt a stirring of 
new life with this strange benediction. 

Many are th(j stories told of his power in prayer ; 
few, very few, the winged words that have been 
caught and kept. He could be sarcastic, tender, the- 
ological, dogmatic, just as he pleased. He preached 
sermoas, administered rebuke, indulged wrath, — such 
as he thought righteous, — burned in entreaty with 
souls, flowed in tears. Every mood of spirit found 
expression in this form. It was often not unlike a 
cloud, that clings step by step to earth before it 
lloats away into the heavens. 

How he helped a young brother out of his distress 
is thus told by Rev. S. Gushing : — ^ 

" In the autumn of 1829 and the following winter. 
Father Taylor usually attended the weekly^ lecture in 
the vestry of Bromfield-street Church, and frequently 
preached the sermon. I was a member of that church 
at the time, and have a vivid recollection of the in- 
terest connected with those services. 

" On one occasion, a young brother, feeling that 
lie was called to preach, had the opportunity of exer- 
cising his gift. His text was, ' I am the Way, the 
Truth,. and the Life.' In the first part of his sermon,' 
while describing Jesus as the Way, he became em- 
barrassed, and, not being able to collect his thoughts, 
18 



274 FATHER TAYLOE. 

closed his remarks, and sat down in confusion. Rev. 
S. Martiadale, the pastor, being in the pulpit with 
him, took up the subject and finished the discourse, 
to the acceptance and edification of the audience. 
Father Taylor, who was occupying a seat in front of 
I he pulpit, offered the closing prayer. He prayed 
for the ' good brother who has attempted to preach 
tliis evening.' ' O Lord ! the way is so broad that he 
got lost in it. Lord, may he not be cast down or dis- 
couraged, but luff up, take a fresh breeze, and boom 
away again.' He also prayed for ' the skilful pilot 
that has taken the helm out of his hands,' that ' he 
may be able to guide the ship free from the rocks 
and the quicksands ! ' He prayed for the ' cold-hearted, 
false professor and the self-righteous Pharisee, that 
every rag of their sails may be torn from the masts, 
and they scud under bare poles to Jesus.' The effect 
was electrifying on all, but on no one more than on 
the young brother ; and when Father Taylor shook 
hands with him, and gave him a kind word of sympa- 
thy and encouragement, he forgot his discomfiture, 
and greatly profited by his advice." 

He smote down the anti-Masons, as he thought, 
by a single word : " Lord, make their hearts as soft 
as their heads." He sometimes tried to overcome 
his antagonist in this mode of warfare, wrestling in 
prayer in a different sense than that of Jacob. When 
a good brother was engaged in prayer in his pulpit, 
and was making some nice distinctions between vari- 
ous degrees of grace, especially those experienced iu 
the higher life, Father Taylor mutters, " Lord, save 
us from splitting hairs." 



ON SPECIAL OCCASIONS. 275 

" I am not splitting hairs," rejoins his antagonist, 
doing battle for his side on his knees. 

"If you are not," is tlie response, " then asTr th3 
Lord for what you need, brother," is the reply; and 
the two men, kneeling together before the audience, 
conclude their colloquy, and resume the work and word 
of intercession. This may seem very irreverent to 
some minds ; but to the participants, and even listen- 
ers, it had no such aspect. They were in dead earnest, 
each and all of them. They meant what they were 
doing. They were 'pleading with God. No mistaken 
pleas were to be admitted. ■ No extraneous matter 
was to be introduced. As a client would hold back 
his advocate if he thouglit he was injuring his cause 
before the judge and jury, and would urge his right 
request with corresponding entreaties, so these godly 
people groaned and sighed and shouted, and talked 
right on, each " on his own hook," and all with one 
devouring purpose. That was what carried forward 
the mighty revivals, and brought such multitudes into 
the kingdom. It was the mighty purpose of these 
men and women that constrained all hearts to attend 
their meetings, and many hearts to yield. They 
have since become more orderly, so called ; but more 
powerful ? far otherwise. 

He could discern between groans ; for when Dick 
Butler, in his drunken estate, began to get up a mock 
groaning in the rear of "the vestrj--," Father Taylor 
detected the half-hypocrisy and half-sincerity of the 
noise, and cried out, " Come up here, and we'll teach 
you to groan from the other side of your mouth." 



276 FATHER TAYLOE. 

And he came, and was taught both how to sorrow 
after a godly sort and how to rejoice likewise. 

He delighted sometimes in administering reduke 
tlirough prayer. Thus, when the First Methodist- 
Episcopal Charch in South Boston had been reno- 
vated and re-opened, Father Taylor was invited to 
pray. The pulpit had not arrived. Vexed that he had 
not a suitable place to kneel at, he proceeded to ask 
the blessing of the Lord on ever}' part of the house, 
— pews, gallery, windows, carpets, chairs, lamps, — 
and closed with this snap to his long lash, and for which 
the lash itself was so lengthily woven, " And, Lord ! 
bl-ess the pulpit which is somewhere on its way hither 
on an ox-cart ; " the slap at its slowness in coming 
being put into his last word. It was jirobably in some 
such mood as this that he prayed after a student 
had preached and had " a poor time," thanking the 
Lord for every sort of blessing, which he carefully 
enumerated, and concluding with, " And now, Lord, 
if it please thee, don't send us any more Wilbraham " 
students ! " 

Among the most famous of those praj^ers that were 
half-addressed, at least, " to a Boston audience," is 
one told by Rev. W. C. High of East Boston, who was 
at that time pastor of Hanover-street Church : — 

" A fireman had been killed, and a vast multitude 
attended his funeral. The ministers of the vicinity 
were invited to participate in the exercises. As Father 
Taylor entered the vestibule, he saw in the pulpit 
one whom he looked upon as a rival, and for that 
reason especially disliked. He refused to stir unless 



0]Sr SPECIAL OCCASIONS. 277 

this minister was excluded. Tliis, of coarse, could 
not be done ; and, after much entreaty, he came for- 
ward scowling indignation at the good man before 
hhn. He commenced the ministerial part of the ser- 
vices hy a prayer^ For many minutes he wrestled 
with the contrary winds. He staggered among the 
breakers, and seemed certain of foundering. That 
minister was before his eyes, and he could not get 
away from his presence. He struck here and there 
in a blind madness of spirit, wanting all the time 
to lay on his unoffending rival his scourge of wrath, 
and restrained a little by the proprieties of the case 
At length, after much conflict in these Symplegades, 
and great loss of patience and power, he wriggled Iris 
way out of the oppressive presence, and left it far 
behind. Then, under the pressure the very indigna- 
tion had imparted, he shot into the heavens. He 
ranged through all realms of providence and grace. 
He kept his vast audience tossed on the mountain 
waves of admiration and emotion. Tears and smiles 
chased each other rapidly, while awe and astonish- 
ment filled their hearts. Thus he flew on the wings 
of the Spirit for half an hour ; and when he 

' Dropped from the zenith like a falling star,' 

there was no more to be said. The ministerial 
function was exhausted. Everybody was over- 
whelmed, and the services rapidly concluded with 
hymn and benediction. The genius irritabde of 
the poet was strikingly his genius j but seldcm did 



278 FATHER TAYLOR. 

lie use it for -such grand effects. The unconscious 
cause of his daring flight probalily enjoyed his 
ascension as well as though he had been aware 
how much of it had been due to an old man's preju- 
dice against what he deemed an interloper on his 
domain." 

In a better vein and strain was his prayer at the 
dedication of the Boston-street Church, Lynn, whei* 
he said, " Lord ! thou knowest what mischief we 
ministers do. If any one attempt to sow heresy in 
this pulpit, or to preach aught but Christ and Him 
crucified, drive him out of the house, and sweep Mi 



,oor 



f 



tracks off the jit 

Rev. Gorham D. Abbot describes another of these 
famous talks with God : — 

" I was present at the service of Father Taylor in 
his chapel the first sabbath morning after the an- 
nouncement of the appearance of the cholera in Can- 
ada, in 1832, I can never forget the solemnity and 
impressiveness of his prayer on that occasion. With 
that graphic power of imagination for which he was 
so remarkable, and with an inspiration and fervor 
that reminded you of the ancient prophets, he , per- 
sonified the scourge as a, grim monster, that had just 
lauded on our shores, and was casting the glare of his 
eyeballs this way and that, over the territory he was 
about to desolate, and the people he would devour. 

" The whole country had then been startled by the 
reports of ravages abroad, and with the prospect of 
devattation at'home. The audience was in full sym- 
pathy, with the speaker and with the spirit that 



ON SPECIAL OCCASIONS. 279 

marked his devotions ; and those who were present 
at that crowded service, and sliared in those de- 
votions, will probably never forget that extraordinary 
prayer." ^ 

His prayer for President Lincoln, made after a ser- 
mon from Gov. Brownlow of Tennessee, has been 
oi'ten quoted. " Lord, guide our dear President, our 
Abraham, the friend of God, like the old Abraham. 
Save him from those wriggling, piercing, political, 
slimy, boring keel-worms. Don't let them go 
through the sheathing of his integrity.' But the old 
stuff that is floating off, I haven't much to say about. 
Amen ! " 

In one of his prayers he was urging the Lord to 
shower down grace, and inspire a due penitence for 
sin. In the midst of the petition he paused, opened 
his eyes, and said to the congregation, " The com- 
mand is ' Watch as well as pray ; ' be on the watch 
when the first drops fall, for then He has come, or 
He'U be right off again," and, closing his eyes, con- 
tinued his prayer. 

The Sunday before he was to sail for Europe, in 
his prayet he was entreating the Lord to care well 
for his children during his absence, meaning the 
Church. All at once he stopped and ejaculated, 
" What have I done ? Distrust the providence of 
Heaven ! A God that gives a whale a tun of herring 
for a breakfast, will He not care for my children ? " 
and then went on, elosing his prayer in a more con- 
fiding strain. 

He described a pious mother in his morning prayer 



280 FATHER TAYLOK. 

at the Bethel, as " that mornmg angel, tl.at iioo .- 
day angel, that evening angel ! " 

When the Ballardvale church was dedicated, Rev. 
Gershom F. Cox preached the sermon, on the subject 
" One God and one Mediator," dividing the sermon 
into two parts: first, there is a God ; second, .there 
is a Mediator. Father Taylor followed in prayer, 
thanking God for the second part of the sermon. 
" Tlie first part," he said, " is unnecessary ; for all 
know that there is a God. May God bless the second 
part to the congregation ! " 

Rev. Dr. Wakeley describes a prayer in his pul- 
pit, May, 1842, during a session of the New- York 
Conference : — 

" Dr. William Capers preached for me at the 
Seventh-street Church. He, being a distinguished 
stranger, brought most of the preachers there, besides 
an immense crowd. He preached a plain, simple, 
impressive sermon from ' Cast thy bread upon the 
waters ; for thou shalt find it after many days.' 

" The doctor dwelt upon the importance of making 
sacrifices, and he illustrated the casting the bread 
upon the waters by the way they sowed rice at the 
South. He said, ' They would wade into the water 
leg-deep in order to sow it.' 

" It was a very close-shaving sermon. I saw Mr. 
Taylor in the congregation. He had come into the 
city on Saturday evening. I called him up into the 
pulpit, and asked him to conclude by reading a hymn 
and prayer. He did so. He began his prayer in 
this way : ' O Lord ! bless the preacher who has 



ON SPECIAL OCCASIONS. 281 

preached to us this morning. We hai^e often read 
his name in the Minutes, but we never saw his face 
before. We bless thee that he not only came from a 
warm climate, but he has a warm heart. O Lord ! 
the minister has skinned us this morning, but save us 
from skulking, keep us from dodging. Lord, help us 
to bear it like men, for thqu knowest we deserve it. 
Lord God ! forgive us our meanness^ forgive ou r 
meanness ; and, if you will only forgive us this time, 
hereafter we will make all the sacrifices ^necessary : 
we will wade into the water not only leg deep, but, 
Lord, up to our necks, up to our chins ; only, Lord, 
don't drown us, though we deserve it ; just spare our 
lives, and it is all we can ask.' 

" Over thirty years have rolled away, since, on that 
bright morning, I heard that sermon and wondrous 
prayer, and all is fresh as yesterday. I never heard 
any thing like the prayer for originality, for adapta- 
tion, for power and pathos, in my life. The ministers 
wept all over the house like little children : tears 
flowed plenteously : handkerchiefs were in demand. 
Dr. Capers and Dr. Pitman were in the pulpit with 
me. I was between them when Mr. Taylor prayed. 
Dr. Capers wept and trembled exceedingly ; and Dr. 
Pitman laughed and cried alternately, — smiles and 
tears strangely blended." 

He was not always in the praying mood ; and 
once, when asked to pray, retorted, " Pray for what? 
If there's any thing you want, I'll ask for it. But 
there's no use praying without you've something to 
pray for.' 



2S2 FATHER TAYLOR. 

A story of how he conquered by prayer used to he 
told by a Mr. McDonald, who was for a' long time 
one of his members. He said, — 

" In the year 1838, seven of us sailors from the 
frigate ' Brandywine ' came out of the navy yard, all 
ripe for a jolly time. We drank our first grog in 
Wapping Street, near the yard; and after we had 
crossed Charlestown Bridge, and were in Prince 
Street, on the Boston side, we took our second grog. 
Then we were ready for mischief. 

" ' Where can we raise hell most? ' said I. 

" ' I don't know," says one. 

" ' Lef^s have a lark with Father Taylor,' I said. 

" ' Agreed ' ' say the rest, ' if you'll be spokes- 
man.' 

" ' Yes,' I said : ' I'll ask for a Bible.' So we bore 
away for the sailor preacher's, which was only a few 
score rods down the same street. I rang the bell, and 
said, ' We wished to see Father Taylor.' He came 
down ; and as he entered the room^ we were taken all 
aback, and could not gather headway enough to get 
out of his way. He run slap into the fleet of we seven. 
We thought we could touch our hats to our superiors 
to perfection ; but, when he bowed to us so handsomely, 
it left us shivering in the wind. He kept getting 
bettor, and we getting worse. ' Bless you, boys ; bless 
you ' ! came with such power and sweetness, he 
seemed so glad to see us, that he captured us all. We 
began to sweat, and longed for deliverance. I at last 
plucked up courage to ask for a Bible. That was the 
worst move we had made. ' A Bible, yes; every one 



ON SPECIAL OCCASIONS. 283 

of you shall have one.' Worse and worse. Oh, if we 
were out of this scrape, thought we all, we'd nevei 
be caught here again ! 

" ' Now,' said Mr. Taylor, addressing me, ' Bub, 
here's your compass and your binnacle. We need 
a light in the binnacle. Let us pray.' Down we 
wont on our knees; Such pleading I never heard 
before, nor since. I melted. The power that came 
upon me was strange and overwhelming. It was a 
nail driven home tight. It brought peace to my mind 
and salvation to my heart." 

For a score of years it sustained him ; and to his 
dying day he rejoiced that he ever made that cruise,' 
and got this compass, and light in the binnacle from 
his "lark" with Father Taylor. 

This excellence in prayer blossomed into a double 
beauty amid those sad scenes, where the especial 
office of the ministry comes prominently into service. 

He began his boy-life as a preacher of funeral ser- 
mons. He was always remarkably gifted on such oc- 
::asions. From far and near he was called to minister 
these last consolations. His sympathy for the be- 
reaved, his cheerful hopes, his joyful faith, made his 
words of that happy mixture of grief and gladness, that, 
despite the depression of the hour, every mourner in- 
stinctively craves. He would stand over the dead 
body weeping and smiling, mourning and rejoicing, in 
such natural eloquence of imagination and faith as 
drew all sorrowing hearts closer to the Comforter. 
In illustration of this faculty, Eev. Dr. B. K. Pierce 
narrates the following incident : — 



284 FATHEB TAYLOE. 

" No one present at the memorial service of Rev, 
Joshua Downing, held in the Bromfield-street M: E. 
Church, in the summer of 1839, will lose the im- 
pression made by the address of Father Taylor 
on that occasion, although every word of it may 
have vanished from the memory. Downing died 
in his young prime, greatly lamented, being but 
twenty-six years of age. A graduate of Brown Col- 
lege, with a carefully cultivated and brilliant mind, 
and an earnest address, alwaj^s delicate in form, and 
wearing the pale face of an invalid, he made a pro- 
found impression upon the young men, especially 
that waited upon his short ministry, while pastor, 
for little more than a year, of the Bromfield-street 
Church. He died suddenly of a hemorrhage from 
the lungs, longing to live, that he might, as he ex- 
pressed it in his own dying words, ' set an example to 
the young men of Boston,' and panting to preach to 
them a little longer the gospel of Christ, but fully 
prepared for heaven. Almost his last whisper Avas a 
touching message sent by a ministerial friend, to his 
weeping congregation in the church about to be be- 
reaved, ' Say to the impenitent. Repent : I am sent 
from the grave to tell you. I would say to the 
church. Be faithful : at the peril of your present 
peace, at the peril of a peaceful death, and as yoti 
value the felicity and glory of the eternal world.' 
This message was also placed upon his bosom as he 
rested in his coffin, before his beloyed pulpit and in 
the presence of his people. 

" Father Taylor tenderly loved him as a son in the 



ON SPECIAL OCCASIONS. 285 

gospel. His father, who but a short time before had 
passed into the heavens, was his very intimate and 
beloved friend. The circumstances were all calcu- 
lated to touch the springs of feeling in the throb- 
bing heart of one who never was economical in the 
affections which he lavished upon those whom he 
received into his great soul, the sensitive cords of 
which never failed to thrill when the hand of sorrow 
swept them. 

" The church was black with crape, and the congre- 
gation ready to weep as the services opened. ' Why 
have you called me ? What am I to do ? What mean 
these weeds of mourning, and why do you weep ? ' 
were his opening words at this memorable service. 
For a half an hour, without reaching the point at 
which he was aiming, but beating about with many 
whimsical and more touching sentences upon his lips, 
he discoursed upon ' Rabshekah's axe,' as illustrating 
the providence of God. The Assyrian captain and 
his army overlooked the fact, as he interpreted the 
story, that he was only an instrument in God's hand, 
to be used and laid aside as God pleased. So they 
had no right to weep, and clothe their church in sack- 
cloth, when God took his minister, after his appointed 
work was done, to heaven. ' I thought Providence 
had 'lost Father Taylor for the first half-hour,' said 
one of the ministers sitting in the pulpit to his 
friend. But he did not think this in the second or 
in the third half-hour. He struck a ' level ' of pure, 
golden sentiment, and never lost it until he closed hia 
address, himself bathed in tears, and transfigured with 



286 FATHEK TAYLOR 

his theme, and rainirfters and people fairly sobbing 
aloud in the pulpit and throughout the house. 

" ' God did not wish the dear little man to preach,' 
he said.' ' He wanted him in heaven ; but Downing 
was so an-xious to do some service for his Lord, thiit 
his request was granted. When his first year closed, 
he would have been taken at once to heaven ; but you 
were so importunate to have iiim come back, that God 
indulged you for a little while. You had no right to 
expect he would remain with you. He preached 
every sermon, as you saw, luith his winding-sheet 
upon his arm.'' Then he turned upon his ministerial 
brethren, and poured upon them, including himself iu 
their number, a tide of overwhelming remonstrance for 
their little service as compared with this frail invalid 
preacher. He lingered, half-dying, out of heaven to 
preach when the Master yearned to receive him to his 
reward, while strong, active men, with robust health 
and the widest opportunities, entered with a hesitat- 
ing step upon their work. Finally, seizing the word 
that was pinned upon the shroud of the departed 
servant of God, he ipade such an exhortation to the 
congregation to repent as they had never before 
listened to, and have not heard repeated since. Every- 
body's eyes were inflamed ; but no one said to his 
friend, ' Why weepest thou ? ' " 

Rev. William Rice tells how he wept with those 
that wept over the death of a father hi Israel : — 

" Some years since, one of the patriarchs of our 
church, full of years and of honor, a faithful Chris- 
tian worker, passed away in triumph to his rest and 



OK SPECIAL OCCASIONS. 287 

b'R reward. He was an old and tried friend of 
Father Taylor, and they loved each other as brothers. 

" I visited the family on learning of his death ; and, 
as T approached the house, I found Father Taylor, 
who was just recovering from a severe illness, alight- 
ing from his carriage at the door. We entered the 
house together, and were introduced into a chamber 
where we found the widow and a daughter over- 
whelmed with grief. The scene which followed I 
shall never forget. The old man seated himself by 
the window ; and taking her hand, he said, ' The 
thing you have dreaded so long has come upon you ; ' 
but immediately, changing his tone and entire man- 
ner of address, he added, 'but, Ann, remember there 
has been no murder committed in this house ; remem- 
ber that, Ann. And now,' said he, ' a certain measure 
of tears is all well enough, the tribute of nature, they 
cannot be restrained : but, Ann, remember, there must 
be a limit to tears and to grief; all over and above 
a certain amount is sheer waste, .nothing wiU ever 
come of it.' 

" He then spoke of death as a change coming in 
the order of Nature, and by divine appointment, and 
bringing only rest and joy and blessing to the good 
man. 

" ' We drop the seed into the ground,' said he ; 
' and the rain falls upon it, and the sun shines upon 
it, and it springs up, first the little shoot, then the 
tree; and the blossoms appear upon it, and then 
the fruit; and the fruit hangs and ripens in the sun, 
and falls off.' 



288 FATHER TAYLOR. 

" Then suddenly changing his .tone, he said, ' "Who 
would want to hang green upon the tree forever ? ' 

" For an hour he poured forth a stream of his 
peculiar pathos and eloquence, with figures and illus- 
trations, many of them beautiful beyond any thing I 
ever heard from his lips, and yet many of them quaint 
and extravagant beyond comparison. I found myself 
weeping and smiling alternately and together ; and 
several times during the conversation, I saw a smile 
upon the faces of widow and daughter, even while 
they seemed crushed by their new and great sorrow." 

This womanliness of soul broke forth in other 
forms. Thus Rev. Dr. J. W. Merrill describes his 
melting a murderer into penitence : — 

" When I was stationed at East Cambridge, being 
then chaplain of the penitentiary and jail there, I 
learned that one of the prisoners, soon to be executed, 
had formerly been an attendant on Father Taylor's 
preaching and prayer-meetings. He thought he had 
experienced religion ; but embracing the idea of our 
Lord's second advent in I'SiS, and being disappointed, 
he finally lost his religious feelings, and fell into the 
awful crime of murder. I obtained his leave, after 
some hesitation, to invite the venerable man over 
from Boston to see him. I did so ; but Father Tay- 
lor, eying me sharply and with emotion, answered, 
'No: I have had one such case, and I will never 
attend another ! ' But I suggested, should God so 
bless the effort as to cause the wretched man to repent 
and be saved, it would set up forever in heaven a 
monument of the power of divine grace to save the 



ON SPECIAL OCCASIONS. ' 289 

chief ef sinners, and bring new glory to the Son o± 
God. He paused in silence for a moment, and it was 
but for a moment, as he was pacing his parlor 
Then, with deep and plaintive tenderness, he said, 
' You have conquered me : I will go.' The time 
was set, and he came to my house. We went down 
to the jail together. On opening the door of the 
ceil. Father Taylor fixed his eyes upon the prisoner 
for a whole minute or more, the prisoner meanwhile 
staring at him, when he commenced in a subdued, 
melting tone of voice, ' I did not know it was you, 
my son ! I did not know it v/as you ! I heard of 
the awful murder ; but I did noi know it was you who 
committed it, my son ! Oh, I did not know it Avas 
you ! ' And he rushed to him, threw his arms around 
his neck, hugging him to his breast with great emo- 
tion, and continued saying, ' O my son, my son ! I 
did not know it was you. I am glad you are here : 
God has got you now. He has put you here to save 
you. Had he not got you here, you would have 
been damned. He has got you here to save you. 
You had better be saved and go to heaven, by these 
stone walls and the halter, than to go to hell on a 
bed of roses, my son ! ' and the tears fell down his 
furrowed cheeks. The miserable man broke down, 
and melted into convulsive weeping." 

This same fulness of soul revealed itself, in like 
Avarmth of love and tenderness, in his sacramental ser- 
vices. No one who has ever heard him can forget his 
e seceding richness of imagery and feeling at the bap- 
tism of babes. No one ever copied liis Saviour mor« 
10 



290 FATHEE TAYLOR. 

closelj'- in taking them up in his arms, putting his 
hands on them, and blessing them. He delighted to 
preach a little anti-Calvinism over this service, and, 
holding out the smiling babe, would exclaim, " Is 
this a child of the Devil ? God never created such 
lovely beings to be damned by a fixed decree." He 
would then fold them to his bosom, kiss them tenderly, 
and return them to their mothers. There would be 
many more observers of this holiest and happiest of 
Christian ordinances, if the ministers would more 
faithfully copy this example and that of their com- 
mon Master. 

Once, when one of these little ones cried, the 
mother being much disconcerted, he calmed her 
tumult by saying, " It would be a great pity if that 
child could never cry. May it never cry for bread ! " 

Rev. Dr. Wentworth thus narrates a most power- 
ful scene of this kind, which occurred at Eastham 
camp-meeting, and which many ministers talk about 
to this day : — 

" In 1851 1 met with Taylor at the Eastham camp- 
meeting. I was to preach ; but just before the sermon 
Father Taylor was called on to baptize the children 
of some sailors, and the power with which he con- 
diicted the baptismal services was sufficient to put 
to shame all the rituals of Christendom. His man- 
ner on that occasion was attended with storm and 
lightning, earthquake and volcano. The immense 
audience swayed in the wealth of his eloquence 
like a forest of willows or aspens. He was fire 
and gentleness, invective and sarcasm, wit and sjra- 



ON SPECIAL OCCASIONS. 291 

[jathy, by turns. We laughed, we wept, we shouted 
in turns ; and finally, finding myself getting utterly 
unmanned, and rapidly dissolving into tears and 
brine, I fled the pulpit, and hid myself out of ear- 
shot of this extraordinary scene, that I might not 
be utterly unfitted to preach the sermon that was to 
follow immediately after. Speaking of the objection 
some preachers had to baptizing the children of un- 
converted parents, he took a beautiful infant in his 
arms, and raising it as he raised his voice, with an 
inimitable gesture, he exclaimed, with volcanic vehe- 
mence, ' Why, if the old Devil himself would bring 
me a child to baptize, I would baptize it, and say, 
Devil, go to your own place ! Angels, take the 
baby ! ' 

" The prayer be uttered on that occasion was a 
miracle of power. It was one of those services which 
burn themselves into the imagination and memory 
like hot lava or a branding iron. His utterances 
were sublime, inspirations such as sibjds, prophets, 
or Highland seers never had ; his manner more tragic 
than .^schylus or Shakspeare ; and his power over 
the hearts of hearers such as Webster, Burke, Paul, 
or Demosthenes might have envied." 

In " The Poetry of Travelling," Mrs. Caroline Gil- 
man of Charleston, S.C., describes both baptisms : — 

" I followed the crowd to the Bethel Church. Mr. 
Taylor was walking about the pulpit in great anxiety 
and concern, arising from the fear that the seamen 
would be crowded from their seats. Leaning over, 
he stretched out his hand, and called out, with a Loud 



29!^ FATHER TAYLOR. 

and earnest voice, ' Don't stir, my brethren ! not a 
seaman must go out.' 

" The occasion was one of peculiar solemnity. A 
service of communion plate had been presented, 
and this was the first opportunity for consecrating it. 
Having heard Methodist preaching frequently at the 
South in its most fervid tone, I was probably not so 
much impressed by the sermon as a Bostonian would 
have l)een. Mr. Taylor's changes, lii^e those of his 
denomination generall}^, were rapid, varying from 
the boldest rhetorical flights to the most common- 
jjlace expressions. The sermon being over, lie de- 
scended to the altar, and called two individuals to 
the rite of baptism. One was a middle-aged seaman ; 
the other a little girl of five years of age, led by hei 
mother. He had not proceeded . far, before I saw 
and felt the power of his natural eloquence : his 
audience were soon in tears. He grasped the hand 
of the seaman, and welcomed him as one who, from 
sailing on stormy seas, had reached a safe harbor. 
After the usual invocation and form of baptism, he 
again took his hand, and, smiling on him kindly, 
said, ' God's baptism be on thee, my brother ; go in 
peace.' Then turning to the woman, he exclaimed, — 

" ' And the widow did not come alone ; no, she 
did not come alone, she brought her baby with her.' 

" He took the wonderbig but passive little girl in 
his arms, and raised_ her so that all could see her. 
After the silence of a moment, he said, — 

" ' Look at the sweet lamb 1 Her mother has 
brought her to Christ's fold.' 



ON SPECIAL occASio;:*3. 293 

"There was a'lother pause : he touched her fore- 
head with the baptismal element, pronounced the 
invocation to the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, 
and saying solemnly, ' A baptism from heaven be on 
thee, my pretty dove ! ' kissed her flushed cheek 
tenderly, and placed her by her mother's side. 

" The congregation were then invited to kneel at 
the altar, and partake the communion. The seamen 
went first, file after file, pressing respectfully on, 
while their pastor addressed to each words of caution 
and encouragement. 

" ' Brother, beware, take heed,' he said to one 
whose face bore marks of worldly cheer : ' the temptei 
is ever ready.' And to one who looked dejected, he 
said soothingly, ' Come to the Lord, my brother : the 
yoke of Jesus is easy ; lay your cares on Him.' 

" When the seamen communicants had all visited 
the altar, others followed ; and, as circle after circle 
knelt around, the good man was often obliged to 
pause in his addresses. Weeping and agitated, he 
walked the chancel, exclaiming, with broken sobs, 
'This is the happiest day of my life, my God ! the 
happiest day that I have seen since I was born.' " 

His view of the spiritual relation and condition 
of the infant child was in strict harmon}' with the 
theology of his church. He recognized the influence 
of the atonement of Christ. He believed, as she 
believed and taught, that all souls are born into tht, 
realm of grace ; that Christ taketh every little 
one in his arms when it is born, and blesseth it ; 
that every sinner is a prodigal v.'andering from his 



294 FATHER TAYLOR. 

Father's house. To him, therefore, that babe was a 
babe of God's, — 

" Breaking with laughter from the Lake Divine, 
Whence all things flow." 

He saw in it the lineaments of Christ. More than 
in heaven, the Saviour himself was about it in its 
infancy ; it was not an angel, not sinless in nature 
or development, but a saved soul, whose smile was the 
smile of God, and who, with its own co-operation, 
could always grow in grace, and never need come 
into condemnation. It was no ingrafted creed, no 
running over the wall, in wildness of feeling and 
fancy, but a strict, logical, inevitable conclusion of 
his daily creed, preached by ,all his brethren and 
found in all the catechisms and formulae of his 
church. As he looked on the babe he could believ- 
ingly exclaim, — 

" O child 1 O new-born denizen 
Of Life's great city ! On thy head 
The glory of the morn is shed 
Like a celestial benison." 

It was Christ whom he there saw shining in the 
greatness of His love. Every child was bathed in 
the blood of redemption. It was blood of its blood ; 
it therefore deserved baptism, the outward sign of this 
inward state, and a place forever in the Church which 
includes all His redeemed ones in its holy fold. 

The eucharistic services were -as remarkable as 
the baptismal. He had a special word for every 



ox SPECIAL OCCASIONS. 295 

guest of his Lord's. " Here come my boj's from be- 
tween the guns," he exclaims, when a batch of boys 
iu navy shirts kneel at the altar ; and then flows forth 
a most affecting address to these especially tempted 
ones. Says Dr. Peirce, — 

"No words can describe his manner at a sacra- 
mental occasion in his own Bethel. It was not so 
mucli what he said as himself, — his whole bear- 
ing, his impassioned and incarnated sentiment. ' I 
have got something for you, children,' he once 
said, as he followed me with the cup : ' it is a present 
from Jesus, something which He has sent to remem- 
ber Him by.' He held the cup under his outer coat, 
pressed to his heart, as if he would suddenly sur- 
prise them by bringing the precious gift out before 
their eyes ; then he looked up and burst into tears as 
he pronounced His name. ' He sends it to you, chil- 
dren, and tells me to say to you. Drink of this in 
memory of me ! ' " 

R. P. S., in " The Boston Transcript," describes his 
dramatic powers, tested to their uttermost by start- 
ling events. Two sailors had been arrested for 
murdering a captain. One had been acquitted, and 
one condemned. It was the Sunday after the trial, 
and the man that had been released was among the 
audience. As usual, every spot was crowded to suffo- 
cation. " Father Taylor wa.s in his best mood. His 
heart was fuller than iiis Bethel. He prayed for the 
sailors as if his heart would go up with his petition, 
and tears flowed from his eyes like rain." 

" He commenced his sermon rather tamely, as it 



296 FATHER TAYLOR. 

seemed, after such a prayer. But he warmed up grad- 
ually, as he went on describing the temptations and 
devilishness of sin, the deeds it prompted, the acts it 
compelled its victims to, till at last he took us all fairly 
to sea, and the dark rainy night came down upon tlie 
ship and waters. As the night wore on, the captain 
turned in, and the crew who were off duty had crept 
down to their bunks. The two on watch pace the 
deck. One of them draws and looks at his knife ; 
he feels the edge with his finger ; he looks toward 
the cabin-door, he goes toward it, he stands by it ; 
he twirls the knife in his hand, again he looks at it, 
again he feels the edge ; he puts his hand on the 
door, he listens ; he opens the door just a crack, 
peeps in, sees the captain asleep ; he is sleeping 
soundly ; the door is opened wider, he steps in. 

"At this point of the description, the house was 
as still as the tomb, save here and there a deep breath- 
ing. The sailors were leaning forward with fixed 
and staring eyes and parted lips. Every muscle was 
in highest tension. 

" Father Taylor went on with his description, act- 
ing it as no dramatist could act, his face the perfect 
expression of the criminal's hate and deed. . He looks 
at the door ; he looks at his innocent sleeping victim ; 
he clinches the knife tighter; he slips like a cat 
towards the berth, puts out his hand to feel where 
the heart is ; he passes it along until he finds the 
exact place. He steps back with one foot ; he lifts 
his hand which holds tlie knife. He strikes — 

" There was an audible start through the whole 



ON SPECIAL OCCASIONS. 297 

house ; and some of the sailors sprang to their feet, 
as if to stop the blow. He said but few words 
more. After the emotion had subsided, he asked 
the acquitted man to rise ; and he closed the services : 
with a fervent prayer for him." 

Another, himself a sailor, sends a like vivid por- 
traiture of the same gift : — 

" One Sunday he preached to us upon the atone- 
ment. His text was, ' Dead in trespasses and sins.' 
' Dead ! ' he exclaimed : ' not only dead, but buried ; 
and j-ou can't get out ! A big bowlder lays on the 
main hatch, keeping it down over your heads. You 
may go to work with all your purchases, — bars, 
handspikes, winch, and double tackles ; but you can't 
make it budge an inch. The beef isn't in you ! 
But hark ! who is it that has the watch on deck ? 
Jesus Christ. Now, sing out to Him, and sing out 
loud. Ah ! He hears you ; and He claps His shoulder 
against this rock of sin, can,ts it off the hatch, the 
bars fly open, and out you come.' " 

Rev. E. H. Sears describes, in " The Religious 
Monthly," a scene of this sort : — 

" I first heard Father Taylor early in 1835, in the 
midst of his sailors at his Bethel in Boston. He was 
then in his full vigor, the house was crowded, and the 
pulpit stairs were occupied clear up to the preacher. 
His eloquence was marvellous ; his control over the 
audience seemed almost absolute. Tears and smiles 
chased each other over our faces like the rain and 
sunsldne of an April day. Two characteristics gave 
tone and power to his marvellous eloquence. He 



298 FATHER TAYLOR. 

had one of the most brilliant imaginations that ever 
sparkled and burned. His sermon was all poe- 
try, though it came in bursts and jets of flame. It 
was like the dance of the aurora, changing all the 
while from silver flame to purple and back again. 
But the secret of his magnetic power was not here : 
it was in his overflowing sympathies, that leaped over 
all barriers, and had no regard for time or place. 
There was no wall of formality between him and his 
hearers any more than if he were talking to each 
one of us in a private room. He would single out a 
person in his audience, talk to him individually with 
the same freedom as if he met him in the street. 
' Ah ! my jolly tar,' turning to a sailor who happened 
at that moment to catch his ej'e, ' here you are in 
port again : God bless you ! See to your helm, and 
you will reach a fairer port by and by. Hark ! don't 
you hear the hells of heaven over the sea?^ " 

In one of his prayers at Nahant he described our 
life as a tabernacle, through whose thin walls the 
lamp of a holy soul shines clearer and brighter as 
the walls themselves grow thinner; while death is 
but the stepping forth from such a tent into those 
glories which have no dimming veil between. To 
Buch sanctified natures it is 

" Only a step into the open air 
Out of a tent, already luminous 
With light that shines through its transparent walls." 



XVII. 



OUT OF THE BETHEL. 

Called Everywhere. — " A Fresh Pot of Manna."— Hard Wooi\ on the Chniih 
Fire. — *' How do you know but I am an Impostor?"-^ At Middletown, 
Conn. — The Lord's Poor, the Devil's Poor, and the Poor Devils.- An 
Acrostic by Kev. J. N. MaiBt. — Meets his Grandfather. — "Subject not 
dry."— " The Flower of the Devil's Family." — " An Earthquake in Hell." 

— "As Easy to convert Devils as the Actors." — What '' Yankee " means. — 
Rebukes a Slanderer. — Some Ministers like Turkeys stuffed with Garlic. 

— New York and Texas. — Best to go to Heaven by Way of Boston. — Did 
not slip up on a Blunder. — "Crawfishing in Georgia." — "Don't flunk 
from Duty." — " Seventy-four, Keel up." — Doing Wrong for the Sake of 
Variety. — Calvinism like inviting Gravestones Home to Dinner. — " When 
did you hear from Jesus Christ ? " — How Greek did not meet Greek. — His 
Devotion to Masonry and Odd Fellowship. — " He did that Last Monday." 

— "A Bloated Bondholder." — His Visits among the Fallen. — "Nothing 
too Good for a Methodist Preacher." — Match the Best. — " White Oak and 
Hickory, White Birch and Poplar." — Pulleys the other Way. — Daniel Web- 
ster " the Best Bad Man." — His Trips to Europe. — Pleads with the Sailors. 
— The Preacher should "take something Warm from his Heart," and shove 
it into his Hearers. — Reading Sermons like Hunting for Clams. — Rat 
Terriers and Canes. — A Comforting Hymn. — His Intimacy with Unitari- 
ans.— An Interview with Rev. B. H. Sears. — A Reputed Letter.- Gift of a 
Bible. — " Pharaoh a Hard Drinker." — " Sailing by the Head," — " Bigo- 
try's Funeral." — " They'll change the Atmosphere." — In a Theatre for 
Christ's Sake. —A Screw Loose. — The Walking Bethel to the Last. 

HIS was not a fame or a nature that would be 
content with any field, even i£ as broad and 
high a table-land as that which- the Bethel afforded. 
He had won his fame in country circuits. Little 
churches, schoolhouses, and kitchens bore witness to 

299 



300 FATHER TAYLOR. 

the fervor of hir, preaching and prayers. Now that he 
was becoming high, and lifted up, he did not forget 
them, or they him. He was called everywhere, and 
went everywhere. The four days' meeting — a popu- 
lar mode of revival-work in different churches, a 
sort of church camp-meeting — was a favorite place 
of labor. The chief day and service were given to 
him : his eloquence drew crowds, and his skill brought 
many that listened unto Christ and everlasting life. 

Among the incidents occurring in these clerical 
services, a few have escaped oblivion. Rev. Stephen 
Gushing, speaking of a weekly meeting of this sort in 
the Bromfield-street Church, in 1829, says, — 

" The sermons of Father Taylor at the weekly lec- 
ture were remarkable for their delineation of Christian 
experience, and their power over the people. Preach- 
ing once from ' Waiting for the consolation of Israel,' 
in describing good old Simeon and Anna, those aged 
and other devout ones iii Jerusalem, speaking of their 
praj-ers, their faith, their communion with each other 
and with God, and urging it as the privilege of all 
Christians to hold such communion, more than two- 
thirds of the persons present were in tears. The 
whole were deeply affected, and it seemed as near to 
iieaven as any place on earth could be. It was a sit- 
ting together in a heavenly place in Christ Jesus. 

"■ A similar result attended many of his efforts in 
that place. His gift of exhortation, his pointed and 
earnest address, the pathos accompanying it, all indi- 
cated a heart deeply interested in the work God had 
assigned him. His preaching was in the demonstra- 



ODT OF THE BETHEL. 301 

tion of the Spirit and with power. Believers were 
quickened, and many were persuaded to an active, 
earnest life of holiness. 

'" At the first four days' meeting held in Bromfield- 
slreet Church, a large number of ministers were pres- 
ent ; among others. Rev. Asa Kent, who had been in 
the hospital for treatment, had partially recovered, and, 
though scarcely able to come to the church, attended 
the last aftei'noon, and addressed a very comforting ex- 
hortation to mourners in Zion. It was full of sym- 
pathy and affection. Taylor was a great admirer of 
Father Kent, and followed the exhortation with prayer, 
beginning ' Lord, we thank thee for a fresh pot of 
manna right from the hospital.' The altar in the even- 
ing was surrounded with penitents, many of whom 
professed conversion. 

" At a general class or monthly church meeting, 
at the same place, soon after a course of infidel lec- 
tures in Boston by Fanny Wright, several of the 
members, referring to those lectures and the number 
of sympathizers, — said to be three thousand, — spoke 
in a very desponding tone, expressing fears for the 
interests of religion. Taylor arose, and rebuked their 
fears on this wise : ' Some think, because we have had 
in Boston a course of lectures which has brought to- 
gether a large number of infidels, that the Church is 
going down, and that Boston is to be destroyed ; but 
it was only making them known, like so many dis- 
eases scattered all over a man's body, gathered into 
one place, to die a harder death. Why, the Church 
was never in a better condition. I have known occa- 



S02 FATHER TAYLOK 

sionally a snapping and cracking about the altar, i,m\ 
have sometimes seen fire of shavings; but I never 
knew the hard wood piled on the altar as it is now. 
I never knew more union, more deep feeling, and more 
readiness for hard work, in the Church and among 
sinners, than at the present time. There is no room 
for fears : let us thank God, and take courage.' " 

This same courageous faith continued with him to 
the end. When infidelity became more elegant and 
orderly, with cultivated preachers and crowded con- 
gregations, he was still undaunted. 

Rev. Dr. Scudder, who afterwards' labored wifh 
him long in the gospel in the city of Boston, re- 
lates a remark of his on his first appearance in 
Troy, N.Y.: — 
"I remember his first visit to Troy, about 1830. 
His reputation as the famous sailor-preacher, and his 
genius in the pulpit, had preceded him, and drew a 
large congregation. His introduction to his sermon 
was very Taylorish. He read his text, and, with 
characteristic quickness, raised his spectacles high 
on his forehead, and, closing his Bible, placed it 
tightly under his left arm : then, looking intently for 
a moment at his audience, he said, ' Friends, the 
Bible tells us of impostors. Now, you don't know 
but I am one : watch me close, watch me close ! ' 
He had his audience at once in his command." 

Rev. Dr. Wentworth describes one of his great 
times at Middletown, Conn. : — 

" I entered the Wesleyan University at its second 
annual commencement, 1835. Father Taylor was 



OUT OF THE BETHEL. 303 

present, and, in the evening, spoke at a missionary 
meeting. The exercises of the day had been pro- 
tracted and fatiguing. Dr. Holdich, then just newly 
elected professor, made the first speech, — chaste and 
crisp in delivery. I was tired and sleepy, and could 
not listen, and went off into a doze, saying to a class- 
mate, ' Wake me when Taylor gets up to speak.' 

" The precaution was needless. The first note of 
his ringing voice drove drowsiness and dreams' to the 
land of shades, where they properly belong ; and, 
before he had uttered five of his clarion words, I was 
as broad awake as if I had never slept. He began by 
demolishing the professor's speech in the most start- 
ling and peremptory way. ' The Asiatic was well 
enough off under his banyan, the African happy 
enough under his palm : they did not need the mis- 
sionary in the frozen North or the sunny South, but 
in Boston. Knock open your boxes of Bibles on the 
wharves of Boston, and distribute the Word of God 
among the sailors. What is the use of sending mis- 
sionaries to the heathen, unless you first convert the 
sailors ? A single shipload of sailors, in a single 
visit to a heathen strand, will do more mischief 
than the labors of a dozen missionaries will undo in 
forty years.' 

" In the same speech he said, speaking of mission- 
ary benevolence, ' Drop a dollar in this ocean, and 
its ■ ripple will be felt on the farthest shores of 
Eternity! ' ' When I die,' said he, ' don't bury me up 
in the dirty ground : carry me out to my own blue 
sea, where I may have the seaweed for my shroud, 



304 FATHER TAYLOR. 

tlie coral for my coffin, ocean mountaini: for my 
tombstones, and the music of zephyrs and liowling 
storms for my requiem.' " 

This last remark was one that he was evidently 
fond of making. 

He began an address in Maiden before a benevo- 
lent society thus quaintly : — 

" There are," said he, " three Idnds of poor in this 
world; namely, the Lord's poor, the Devil's poor, 
and poor devils. The Lord looks out for his poor, 
and the Devil looks out for his poor : poor devils have 
to look out for themselves." 

In these early days of his devotion, he often worked 
in meetings with John N. Maffit. Their regards were 
the closer, because to their church and clerical affini- 
ties were joined those of the order in which, they 
were bold and active members, and which then was 
in great disrepute. We find a small yellow sheet 
among his papers, on which, in handsome penman- 
ship, is an acrostic from this fi-iend and brother. 
It lacks perfect rhythm, but has a ringing trumpet- 
note, that came from a live soul to a live soul, and 
made fire kindle fire. It shows, too, the stirring ac- 
tivities of their church in that hour, and reveals the 
sources of her present power. Only as a church 
abides in this inspiration will it grow in greatness, or 
even continue iu strength and verdure. 

TO MT DEAR BROTHER TAYLOR. 

Enter the field with courage high, 
Draw boldly Gideon's sword ; 
Wait not, nor think, nor fear to die, 
And shout Ernmanuol's word. 



OUT OP THE BETHEL. 305 

Kaiso Jerusalem's two-edged blade, 
Bi'awn from tlie hallowed page ; 

ITirough earth and hell to glory wade, 
Heaven's wars with bravery wage. 
On every height and mountain's brow, 
Make Christ's banner wave on high ; 
Plant it on every vessel's prow. 
Swiftly let the pennant fly 1 
Oh ! never shrink, nor know alarm : 
Nature's God hath elad thee o'er. 

Think not thy foes can ever harm : 

All their weapons lose their power. 

Your heart be strong ! your hopes be bright 

Lo, victory beams around thee I 

On Faith's strong pinions gain the height : 

Rest there, and peace surround lliee. 

Thylirolher soldier, the Stranger, J. N. M, 

At a prayer-meeting in Hanover-street CJturcli, an 
old minister was present from Vermont, and related 
his experience, when travelling once on a large cir- 
cuit. He said, that he " preached in the morning, 
rode twenty miles, and preached in the afternoon. A 
young man was present that had followed him from ' 
his morning meeting : he arose for prayer, and was 
converted, and became a preacher, and afterwards 
Bishop Hedding." Father Taylor arose, and came 
forward, clapping his hands, and shouting, " Glory to- 
God, I have found my grandfather ! Bishop Hedding 
was my spiritual father, and this old preacher* is my 
grandfather." 

In Charlestown, just before he commenced, the 
sexton brought him a glasa of water, " Thank you," 
said he, " but my subject is not a dry one." 
,2D 



306 FATHER TAYLOR. 

At a (juarteily meeting at Weston, in 1815, there 
was a coach-load of colored people, among them a 
large woman named Cook. She praised the Loid for 
His religion in Philadelphia, New York, and Boston. 
" Where did all these come from ? " cries young 
Taylor, all enthusiasm: "they seem the flower of 
the Devil's family ! " 

Rev. William McDonald sends the following good 
things : — 

" Once at Father Taylor's, a gentleman called, who 
did not seem of very sound mind. Among other 
things, he said a lady had recently appeared in 
New York, who had resolved to reform the stage 
and raise the profession, and thus wipe out the 
reproach which was upon it. He was doing what 
he could to help her, and she was resolved never 
to leave the stage until it was accomplished. I 
remarked, that she had a long job on hand. ' Yes,' 
said Father Taylor ; ' and if the howling of devils, on 
account of it, does not make the people believe that 
there is an earthquake in hell, I am mistaken : you 
might as well attempt to renovate devils.' The gen- 
tleman left, not greatly encouraged. 

" An Englishman asked him what ' Yankee ' meant. 
- Do you not know? ' inquired Father Taylor. ' No,' 
replied the Englishman. ' It means,' said Father Tay- 
lor, 'invincible, unconquerable.: do you know what 
that means ? ' The Englishman asked no further 
explanations. 

"At another time, being at Father Taylor's, he 
showed me a letter, published in a Haverhill paper, 




RESIDENCE OF FATHER TAYLOli 



OOT OF THE BETHEL. * 307 

deiicribing his person and the place of his preiiching, 
which (lid not please him. His Bethel was described 
as located in the most disreputable part of Boston, 
surrounded by residences occupied by the most aban- 
doned. A young man called on Father Taylor to 
receive his autograph, which he always refused to 
give. He was, no doubt, the author of the letter, 
and asked Father Taylor if he had received a paper 
which he sent him. Father Taylor took him out to 
the door, and bade him look around. ' There,' said 
he, ' is my church, and here are the low dens filled 
with the wretches so graphically described in the let- 
ter. I live in one of them. Do you see them, sir ? ' 
As he saw the large and veiy respectable residences 
which surrounded North Square, he looked as though 
he woiild go up, or down, or in any other direction to 
get out of sight. ' Well,' he said, ' I did not know 
that this was your place.' — ' Yes,' said Father Taylor, 
' this is the very place, sir ; and I want you to look 
at it.' " 

Condemuing educated ministers who did not know 
how to use their culture, he exclaimed, " Oh, there 
are some that cut eight inches on the rib ! but these 
stuffed turkeys stink so of leeks and onions and 
garlic, that they must be rotten all through." 

Speaking in New- York City, at a missionary meet- 
ing, in regard to Texas, when the country was jiew 
and wild, and the inhabitants were as wild as the 
country, he said : — 

" The drunkards, the swearers, the defaulters, the 
gamblers, the murderers, are there. Where did those 



308 ' FATHEK TAYLOK. 

-villains go from ? Most of them from this city. And 
now, as you have got rid of them in New York, surely 
you ought to send them the gospel. ' 

If he could condemn New York, he could praise, 
Boston. Addressing the first shipload that left 
this city for California, he said, " In the common 
oi'der of Providence, some of you will never return 
here ; but heaven isn't any more distant from Califor- 
nia than from this Athens of America : but if God in 
His providence will so order, that you can come and 
go by the way of Boston, thanks be to His name ! " 

Rev. Dr. Akers gives this incident illustrative -.of 
his skill in escaping from a blunder. 

" The first sabbath afternoon of General Confer- 
ence in Baltimore, 1840, while beginning to admin- 
ister the sacramental cup to a long table of Father. 
Taylor's devout communicants, he, having preceded 
me with the consecrated bread, untd. the last in 
order was served, cried with a loud voice, ' Arise, 
brethren, in the ' — ' Brother,' called I, ' they have 
not yet had the wine ! ' — ' That is,' continued he, 
'let 3'our hearts be raised up unto (rod, for his bread 
of life.' The unfinished mistake was made to fix a 
good lesson on many minds." 

He inquired of Rev. Mr. Paulson, a chaplain in the 
army at the time of Sherman's devious movements 
in h^jj march to the sea, " What do you think will be 
the result of Sherman's crawfishing down there ~in 
Georgia ? " Could any word have more aptly de- 
scribed that wide, slow, and careful undertaking ? 

He illustrated his untiring zeal for the Mastei 



OUT OP THE BETHEL. 309 

by asldng of this brother, who visited him with 
another minister on sabbath morning, when he was 
sick at a water-cure establishment, " Who's goiuo- to 
tell the truth to-day?" When told both were to 
preach, he added a good word for all ministers, how- 
ever roughly put : " Well, don't flunk from duty." 

On entering a long, narrow, high church, with its 
modern open and timbered roof, he looked up to the 
ceiling, and exclaimed, " Seventy-four, keel up ! " 

This story well expresses the structure of his na- 
ture. One day he came into the Methodist bookstore 
in Boston, rubbing his hands, and saying, " I have 
been doing something wrong to-day. I have done 
right all my days, and now I have done a little 
wrong for the sake of a mixture ! " 

Like all the early New-England Methodist preach- 
ers, he had to do battle chiefly with Calvinism. His 
weapons were sharpened in that warfare. Some of 
his sword-thrusts are remembered. To one who be- 
lieved in infant reprobation, he said, " There is no 
use of talking, brother : your God is my Devil. Give 
him my compliments." 

On another occasion, he summed up the whole con- 
troversy as to the inviting those to be saved who are 
dead in trespasses and sins, and have received no 
power to even desire salvation, because not of the 
elect, by declaring, " For Calvinists to invite sinners 
to repentance is like inviting the gravestones home 
to dinner with you." 

When anotlier of this school was expounding his 
doctrine of decrees, and the impossibility of salvation 



310 FATHER TAYLOR. 

for the non-elect, the old gentleman ' escaped from 
the blue cloud that was thickening about him with the 
shout, " When did you hear from Jesus Christ last ? " 

When a youth, he trusted to his wit to get him 
out of scrapes he foolishly ran into. He had a de- 
bate with a Calvinist minister in Newburyport upon 
a text of Scripture ; and, as his antagonist felt rather 
pinched with Taylor's rendering of the text, he fled 
to the original Greek, and insisted that that favored 
his views much more than the translation. This got 
the subject a little out of Taylor's reach ; but he soon 
rallied, and inquired for a Greek Testament. His 
opponent rose up to get the book, and, after walking 
the room for a while, somewhat embarrassed, he said, 
" It is a long while since I have attended to the 
Greek, and I have grown somewhat rusty. I think 
we may as well drop the subject where it is." Said 
a friend, to whom he told this incident, " Wliat would 
you have done had the Testament been produced?" 
— " Oh ! I would have worked my way out some- 
how." — " No doubt of that, I presume ; for he never 
got hedged up anywhere," says his old comrade. 

Mr. Taylor joined tlie Corner-Stone Lodge of Free- 
Masons at Duxbury, and received liis degrees, accord- 
ing to its records, March 6, 1820. His friend and ' 
brother, Hon. Seth Sprague, jun., was the Master of 
the Lodge at the time of his initiation. He loved 
this body to the day of his death. In the troubled 
days of the anti-masonic excitement, when many 
lodges were abandoned, when many withdrew from 
Llie order, and when members sometimes slunk into 



OUT OP THE BETHEL. 311 

meetings hastily, and with caps pulled down over 
their faces, Brother Taylor used to strut into the en- 
trance of the hall, with his hat thrust back on his 
head, hung " on the organ of obstinacy." 
, When his conference, in order to avoid occasion 
for stumbling, had adopted a resolution not to partici - 
pate in anypablic masonic celebration for the coming 
year, the young obstinate marched all the more bold- 
ly in the processions ; and Bishop Hedding, in half 
despair at his incorrigibility, and that of his comrade 
in popularity, peculiarity, and devotion to this cause, 
John Newland Maffifc, partly petulant at their disobe- 
dience, and partly pleased at their pluck, said, " Eddy 
and Johnny will wear their aprons in spite of us." 
His conviction by his conference for this offence and 
correction in righteousness, and how he came out 
ahead, is related on a previous page.* 

He was afterwards a member of Columbian Lodge, 
constant in his attendance, and always welcome. His 
prayer at the opening of this lodge, made when anti- 
masonic excitement swelled high, has been repeated 
thousands of times. "Bless this • glorious Order: 
bless its friends, — yes, bless its enemies, and make 
their hearts as soft as their heads." 

He was also a Knight Templar of the Boston Com- 
mandery, and took especial pride in its stately array, 
the rich black uniform and lordly cap and plume mak- 
ing him look and feel most knightly. As he marched 
in its processions, liis step was unusually haughty, 
even for his haughty nature. 

• See page 203. 



312 FATHER TAYLOR. 

He loved the Odd Fellows, too, joining Suffolk 
Lodge at Boston ; and, when the oath of allegiance to * 
this order was administered to him, he took it Avith 
this qualification, uttered in his sturdiest tones : " Un- 
less thi,i obligation shall conflict with the paramount 
quahfications of Free-Masonry." In his journeyings 
in Europe and in the East, these associations were 
more than once of signal service. 

On a sabbath just before his death, he dressed him- 
self in full masonic regalia, and seated himself at the 
window. Perhaps his mind was wandering, but it 
wandered among scenes and companions that he 
loved. 

Mr. Taylor was a keen politician, — in his younger 
days, a Jeffersouian Democrat, made so by his ardent 
patiiotism and by his experience of a British jail : 
in later days, he was a devoted Whig, an earnest 
admirer of Daniel Webster and his associates. When 
. George N. Briggs was elected Governor, to succeed 
Marcus Morton, it became Father Taylor's duty to 
read Governor Morton's Thanksgiving Proclamation. 
As he read the concluding words, " God save the 
Commonwealth of Massachusetts," he paused, and 
added, " He did that last Monday." 

During the exciting times of 1850, Father Taylor 
was, in theory, a follower of Mr. Webster ; but no 
house in Boston would have been a more secure shel- 
ter for a fugitive slave than his. He never was in 
sympathy with the Abolitionists, being disturbed by 
their attacks on the Church, and cherishing always a 
kindly feeling for old Virginia. 



OUT OF THE BETHEL. 313 

During the War of the Rebellion, although feeble 
and broken, he was a devoted and active patriot. In 
the pulpit, in Faneuil Hall, on Boston Common, lie 
pleaded for recruits ; and Gov. Andrew, during these 
troubled years, often refreshed himself by, calling the 
hopeful old man to the Council Chaml)er, and by 
listening to his prayers at the Bethel. 
, Just after the issue of the " seven-thirty bonds,'" 
he consulted a young friend about the investment of 
a few thousand dollars, which had fallen to him from 
a bequest. He was told that the Government needed 
money, and that his example might do good if he 
bought United States securities ; but that, if the Re- 
bellion succeeded, the bonds would be worth nothing. 
" Put it in," said he : " if the Rebellion succeeds, I 
don't want to be worth any thing. Put it all in ; 
and, if the ship goes down, we'll all go down to- 
gether." And so Father Taylor became " a bloated 
bondholder." 

His work in one peculiar field is not generally 
known. Living at the North End, near by the low- 
est haunts of vice, he was often called to attend the 
sick-bed, the death-bed, and the funerals of the most 
wretched and abandoned of women. Protected by 
liis eccentricity and his purity alike from any shadow 
of suspicion, shielded from all danger by his utter 
ignorance of fear, he always obeyed such a summons. 
At all hours of day or night, he visited the foulest 
haunts of crime in this noble service ; never with one 
harsh word for the fallen, never with any apology for 
the crime. A record of his prayers on such occasions 



314 FATHER TAYLOR. 

would add vast treasures to the wealth of the Chris- 
tian world. His warnings against trusting to a death- 
bed repentance were reserved for vigorous and pros- 
perous offenders; but, when the sinner's life was 
ending in agony, he never forgot that the first con- 
vert of his Master's cross was a thief, and that His 
first promise of pardon was given to a harlot. 

He received many warnings, some anonymous, 
against venturing on such errands. The only notice 
• that he ever took of such warnings was to lay aside 
his cane, which was elsewhere his constant compan- 
ion, but which he never took with him when he 
visited the cellars and garrets of North Street. This 
was simple courage in the Christian soldier ; but it 
was also the wisest prudence. 

Some one in his earlier years rebuking him for 
wearing gold-bowed spectacles, a great offence to his 
brethren in those days, he replied, " Nothing is too 
good for Methodist preachers." 

It was in the same spirit, in a later day, that he de- 
fended his brethren from an unjust refiection from 
outside critics. He preferred to keep a monopoly of 
that fault-finding to himself. So when Dr. George B. 
Ellis, at a Unitarian meeting, thoughtlessly remarked 
that many Methodist ministers received only two hun- 
dred dollars salary, and were not worth more than that. 
Father Taylor broke in on the programme, sprang 
on his feet, shook his fist, cane, and head in the face 
of his astonished censor, exclaiming, "I will put 
Methodist ministers against any you will bring for- 
ward at any time. I'll match orator with orator, 



OUT OF THE BETHEL. 315 

logician with logician, worker with worker." So he 
poured on, until a pause came in his breath ; a laugh 
followed on either side, and there was a great calm. 

Speaking of his old friend, Lewis Bates, he said, 
" He was a man made out of white oak and hickory, 
and not, as they are now-a-days, out of white birch 
and poplar." 

One of his old friends whom he did not recognize 
spoke to him. "Who are you?" — "One of your 
'old salts.'" — "No fear of your spoiling," is the 
quick retort: "you'll keep all the better then." 

A man seeking to sell him a horse, and taking liim 
up to try it, said, as they got into the buggy, " He 
is a very hard horse to hold: he goes so fast he ought 
to have pulleys on him." After driving somewhat 
tediously around the Common, he said to the owner 
on alighting, " You had better put pulleys on the 
other way : he needs to be dragged along rather than 
held back." 

" Speaking of Daniel Webster, he said, " He was 
too bad to trust with any thing good, and too good 
to throw away. He was the best bad man I ever 
knew." 

Father Taylor made three voyages to Europe : the 
fii'st when his church was building; the second in 
1842, when he ran up the Mediterranean and visited 
the Holy Land ; the last in the " Macedonian," a Gov- 
ernment vessel sent out with provisions for the relief 
of the starving poor of Ireland. Of the first of these 
no reminiscences remain. Of the second one, Mr, 
Maclean furnishes these incidents : — 



316 FATHER TATLOE. 

"He sailed from Boston in the barque 'Maid of 
Orleans,' Capt. Wiswell, bound for the Mediterra- 
nean. He was very feeble when he went on board, 
but after a week at sea his health was much improved. 
He then began to associate with the seamen, fre- 
qaently lending them a hand to make and shorten sail. 
Wiien the weather permitted, he had religious exer- 
cises on the quarter-deck, which were very impres- 
sive.' 

" He illustrated the truths he desired to communi- 
cate by the routine duties of the vessel, showing, 
however far the captain and officers were removed 
from the men, they were alike exposed to the same 
dangers, and were therefore compelled to act in con- 
cert. ' It was not,' he often, said, ' smooth seas and 
fair winds that made the sailor; but the hurricane, 
the lee shore, the torn canvas, and the broken spars, 
— these called forth all the powers of his mind and 
body, and made him a hero. So with the trials and- 
temptations of life : they were permitted for a good 
purpose. A feather-bed sailor, like a feather-bed pro- 
fessor of religion, was a poor tool in the hour of trial. 
The voyage to heaven is not all plain sailing, and 
he who thinks it is deceives himself. There are 
squalls and hurricanes, lightning and thunder, shoals, 
lee shores, and deadly diseases, on the ocean of life ; 
but he who takes Christ for his captain will weather 
them all. Without Christ there is no safety. He 
came to seek and to save those who are lost. He is as 
potent on the sea as on the land, and was never 
known to turn His back on a poor sinner that sought 



OUT OF THE BETHEL. 317 

for help. Then,' he would generally conclude, 'come 
to Him, my lads ; and don't continue skulking and 
sneaking in the wake of the Devil another second. 
You know what he is by sad experience, a cheat and 
a liar. Don't you despise a cheat and a liar among 
yourselves, and curse him up in heaps ? how much 
more ought you to loathe the father of liars. I say, 
j'ou know the Devil, and jon know what I say is 
true ; then Avhy not cut adrift from him and come to 
Jesus ? He knows all the storms of life ; He has 
encountered them all, and has promised to be with 
us all, even to the end of the world, if we will but 
give ourselves to Him. Then, in sunshine or storm, 
we shall feel safe. There is no mystery about reli- 
gion ; a poor unlettered negro can get as much of it as 
the admii'al of a fleet, by believing in the Lord Jesus 
Christ and obeying his commandments.' 

" Capt. Wiswell says that his prayers were regu- 
lar ' knock-downers ; ' even he, who never made any 
jn-ofession of religion, often felt his eyes moistened ; 
and as for his crew, they were fairly carried away 
with them. He managed to make the whole crew 
better than when they came on board. If they did 
not get religion, they got something that made them 
contented and happy. The barque had a pleasant 
run to Leghorn, and thence to Palermo and Messina, 
with Father Taylor still on board. In company with 
Gapt. Wiswell, he visited the principal objects of 
interest in these places. When the vessel was home- 
vi^ard bound, he left and proceeded to the Holy Land, 
much improved in health and vigor. At parting, the 



■^18 FATHER TAYLOR. 

jrew of the barque manned the rigging, and gave him ■ 
three cheers." 

His trip to Palestine he often dwelt upon in his. 
sermons ; but no written record of them remains. 

]\Ir. Broadhead reports a story Father Taylor used 
to tell, of an incident on this voyage which chimed 
well with his own notions of what constituted preach- 
ing. He said, " While standing on a wharf in an 
Italian port, one morning, looking at a fine English 
frigate at anchor, a boat with an officer and crew 
of fat jolly tars was pulled up alongside the pier, 
when the officer stepped on shore and ordered the 
crew to await his return. I commenced conversation 
with one of the ' old salts,' saying, ' You have a fine 
ship off there, Jack.' — ' Yes, sir : she is as good a 
ship as floats on salt water.' After inquiring how 
many guns and men she carried, I said, ' Well, Jack, 
I suppose you have preaching on board your ship ? ' — 
' Yes, sir, sometimes, such as it is.' — ' Why, you have 
a chaplain who preaches to you, have you not ? ' — 
' Well, sir, you see, we has a man who comes out on 
Sunday, and reads to us out of a book ; but I don't 
call that preaching ; for if he gives me the book, I can 
read it myself.' I said, 'Well, Jack, you like to heai 
good preaching, do you not ? What do you want ? ' 
— ' Yes, sir, I likes a good thing as well as another 
man ' (and giving his trousers a hitch-up); ' you seems 
to be a good old man, and I will tell you what I likes : 
when a man preaches at me, I want he should take 
something warm out of his heart and shove it into 
mine ; that's what I calls preaching, sir. If you're 



OUT OF THE BETHEL. 319 

goin' to read it, give me the hook and I ^vill read it 
myself.' The officer just then returning, the col- 
loquy ceased. Father Taylor giving them his bless- 
ing as they pulled away to their ship." 

This was in agreement with his own notions ; for 
he himself, on another occasion, described a minister 
reading sermons as like the hunting for clams by a big 
fish-hawk that frequents the Narragansett shores, and 
whose broad wings and bobbing head, diving into the 
sands, he imitated in irresistible ludicrousness. 

In the year " The Macedonian " was sent over to 
Ireland with supplies for the starving peasants. Father 
Taylor was sent as chaplain. He was received with 
much consideration, and especially pleased the Irish 
by his peculiar manners and eloquence. No Blarney- 
stone kisser could surpass him in Oriental luxury of 
compliment, combined with a wit that would make 
even an Irishman envious, and a cordiality that sur- 
passed both courtesy and joviality. 

" On his return home," says Mr. Broadhead, " he 
came up to the house door on the top of a stage- 
coach, holding two shaggy terrier dogs, with a chain 
in one hand, and a bundle of canes in the other, and 
, that constituted his baggage ; for, seeing so much mis- 
ery and suffering, he had given away every thing but 
what he had on. As I took him from the stage, and 
received his warm embrace, he said, ' See, I have 
brought my wife a present from "Auld Ireland," where 
I have licked the " Blarney stone " all over : they are 
two splendid Scotch terriers, great ratters ; and I shall 
not have a rat in my house after this. How are you 
all ? ' " 



320 FATHER TAYLOR. 

On liis last Western ' trip, Father Taylor visited a 
Kentucky plantation, and was most cordially received 
at the negro quarters. He used to tell this story: 
"A prayer- meeting was called; and the class-leader 
said he couldn't express his feelings of joy and grati- 
tude better than by singing .that beautiful hymn, — 

' Hark, from the tombs a doleful sound.' 

" Prayer and speaking followed ; and an old aunty, 
springing in the air, declared that she too must 'spress 
her feelings, by singing those precious words, — 

' Hark, from the tombs a doleful sound ! ' 

His intimacy with the Unitarians has been fre- 
quently noticed in these pages. It began naturally, 
iu consequence of his wanting money to carry out 
general projects, and they being at that time its chief 
possessors. Tlie intimacy grew in other and all direc- 
tions ; and he was a frequent visitor at their meet- 
ings, and in their private parlors. Rev. E. H. Sears 
thus describes, in " The Religious Magazine,"' his good 
word for the Unitarians, and also touches what ever 7 
person saw was a point irreconcilable to any mind, 
and probably was never attempted to be reconciled by 
his own, — the relations of his creed and his senti- 
ments. He however avows, as all who knew him 
would avow, his own personal orthodoxy. 

"I shall not forget my first iutroduction to Father Taylor. I had 
written a little book on Regeneration at the request and suggestion of 
the Setretary of the American Unitarian Association, rny good friend, 



OUT OF THIS BETHEL. 321 

Rev. Calvin Lincoln. Some months afterward I was called upon to 
preside at one of the morning prayer meetings, anniversary week, — 
meetings which Father Taylor was fond of attending. We had a good 
meeting, and the Spirit was with us. After the meeting broke up, and I . 
was passing out of the church, I found Father Taylor had planted hira- 
himsclf at the door. ' There,' said he, ' I've read you, and seen you, inul 
heard you, and now I want to feel you ; ' and, seizing hold of me, he did 
not merely shake my hand, but shook me all over, as if he could not g<M 
me close enough into his warm-hearted fellowship. I never quite under- 
stood how, with his view of the atonement, which was strictly prthodox, 
he found an open way for us Unitarians into heaven, and I do not sr;i- 
pose he knew himself, or very much cared : only he felt sure we shoi.'id 
be there ; for the widcarms of his loving fellowship could not leave us 
out. 

" After his Bethel in Boston had become such a decided success, and 
the centi-e of marked influence, his friendship with TJnitai-ians troubled 
some of his orthodox neighbors. A highly distinguished clergyman of 

the exclusive school, Dr. , called one day ujion Father Taylor 

(this comes to me on excellent authority), and in a remarkably grnial 
mood told him he had come to help him. 

" ' We feel,' said he, ' a very great interest in your enterprise ; wo 
think it is doing great good in the city. Our denomination propose lo 
support you in it.' 

" ' Thanks to the Lord for anybody who is going to help us,' said 
Father Taylor. 

" ' There is one condition about it,' said Dr. : ' you must not 

fellowship the Unitarians.' 

<'<Dr. ,' said Father Taylor, we presume with a countenance 

lighted up with its native fire, ' I can't do without the Unitarians, but I 
can do without you.' " 

Akin to this is a letter of his which Rev. Dr. Free- 
man Clarke published in " The Christian Register," 
which, so far as writing a letter goes, is, we think, 
sliglitly apocryphal ; so long a letter written liy his 
own hand not being extant to-day. The substance ibi 
his; for it is on a line with his usual defence of liiji 
course in tills matter. 



S22 FATHER TAYLOR. 

" He said to nre that there was an article in ' The 
Recorder ' (I think that was the paper) asking why 
Father Taylor, if he was a Trinitarian, should be will- 
ins: to associate with Unitarians. ' I wrote to the 
editor,' said he, ' this answer : ' — 

" ' Sir, — You ask how it is that I, if a Trinitarian, 
am willing to associate so much with Unitarians. I 
am ready to answer your question. I associate with 
Unitarians, because they are the only people I go 
among wliere I am in no danger either of hearing my 
religion insulted, or of having my morals corrupted. 
" ' Yours, Edwaed T. Taylor.' 

" ' He did not ask me any more questions on this 
subject,' said Father Taylor." 

That he was justified in no usual degree in such 
feelings, his many benefactions prove. Among them 
is the incident given by Rev. Dr. Farley in " The Lib- 
eral Christian : " — 

" While reading law with the late William Sullivan, one of the warm- 
est and kindest hearts that ever beat, he came to the office one Monday 
morning, full to overflowing of Father Taylor. He was wont now and 
then to hear that ' great apostle to the sailors,' as he often called him, 
and was for years one of the generous supporters of his Bethel ; but on 
the evening before he had been specially interested. 

" My friend said, ' I observed that Father Taylor had only his little 
old Bible with him, and that all the worse for wear. I propose he shall 
have a new one for pulpit use, with fair, large print to help his eyes, and 
I want you to help me.' He had already drawn up a subscriiption-paper 
for ' a pulpit Bible for Father Taylor's Bethel.' Writing his own name 
against a generous sum, he asked me to show it to a few of his profes- 
sional friends whose names ho gave me, with his request that they would 
join him. In a very short while the subscription was complete ; and 
from R. P. & C. Williams's, then perhaps the most conspicuous book- 



OUT OP THE BETHEL. 323 

stove in Boston, I had the pleasure of ordei-ing a large am) hanJsome 
pulpit Bible, with a simple and anonymous inscription, as ' The Gift of 
Friends of Father Taylor to the Bethel.' On the Sunday morning fol- 
lowing, it having been arranged to have the Bible on his pulpit cushion 
without his Isnowledge till he should find it there, Mr. Sullivan went to 
the Bethel expecting a scene. He was not disappointed. The house, as 
usual, was full. Father Taylor entered. As he rose to begin the sei-vice 
the new Bible met his eye. Taken utterly by surprise, ho looked at it 
intently, opened it, and turned over its lo^es. The muscles of his face 
began to move and his eyes to fill. At length, turning and taking up 
his dear old Bible, he told, in a most touching and tender apostroplie to 
it, its history : how that it was his mother's gift to her sailor boy wlien 
he first went to sea ; had been with him, in storm and calm, his constant 
companion and counsellor ; and at last how, lashed to his bosom, it came 
safely to shore through the rough sea from the \yreek, and had served 
him in public and private devotions ever since. Then, saying his fare- 
well to the first, thenceforth ever to be sacred to the last, ho proceeded in 
the most glowing words of thankfulness to install the new comer in its 
place ; invoking on the givers the choicest blessings of Him who was at 
once the inspirer of the Holy Book, and of their hearts in this act of 
reverence and love, and urging afresh on his hearers the paramount 
claims of the Scriptures upon their obedience and their gratitude." 

Rev. Chai'les T. Brooks of Newport published in 
" The Transcript " some reminiscences of his in the 
Bethel, and in his own pulpit at Newport, in his old 
age : — 

" One day when there was an unusual crowding of people of culture 
and fashion into the front pews, and a good many wrinkled and weather- 
stained old, tars were waiting wistfully at the doors, Father Taylor 
cried out, ' The lambs must be seated first ! ' Once he turned suddenly to 
an old white-haired nonagenarian, who sat with bowed head on the pul- 
])it stairs, ' How is it with you, old Father Silver-locks ! ' Describing the 
hot chase of Pharoah after the Israelites, he suddenly dashed from Ms 
climax, ' Brothers,.! don't know what you think about it, but I should 
say Pharoah must have been a hard drinker ! ' 

" Soon after my settlement he came and preached a whole Sunday at 
Newport. As he sat in the pulpit . before service, and looked out right 
and left, watching the people as they poured in, he reminded me of ^^ 



3^4 FATHER TAYLOB. 

veteran commander peering over the bow of his ship to watch the com- 
ing of a hostile fleet. Presently a company of young men, vacant and 
volatile looking, entered a pew near the door. Father Taylor said to me, 
in a gasping whisper that might have been heard half across the church, 
'There's cavillers in this house: I must get a hook in their jaws!' 
And the first thing he said after giving out his text (Ps. xxiv. 3, 4, 5) 
was, turning to the aforesaid corner, 'Of all the stumbling-blocks in the 
way of religion, the worst is — a cavilling sphit.' On the occasion I 
refer to, William Sullivan had just died ; afld there was an ineffable ten- 
derness and fulness of soul in the tone with which Father Taj'lor ex- 
claimed, ' Boston has lost a prince of gentlemen ! ' 

" One of the last times I met the old man^looking very feeble, I said, 
' How are you ? ' His reply was, with a tap of the iinger on the fore- 
head, ' Sailing by the head ! ' For several years the presence of Father 
Taylor used to be the great event in our Boston gatheringsof Unitarians. 
Who will ever forget the look and tone with which he said in one of our 
conferences, ' When biggitry is buried I hope I shall be at the funeral ' 1 " 

He was not always entirely complimentary to his 
friends of this school. Being asked one day what he 
was going to do with the Unitarians, he replied, " I 
don't know : if they go to hell they'll change the 
atmosphere." 

" The National Sailors' Fair," in which there was 
deep interest, took place in the Boston Theatre. 
He was surrounded with " blue jackets." In the 
course of the evening Father Taylor said, " When I 
was in Paris I was entreated and conjured to go to 
the grand opera by my countrymen, they declaring 
it was such a magnificent show ; but I replied that I 
should not like to die in a theatre : and yet I am here ; 
but this is for Jesus Christ's sake." 

Of Ralph Waldo Emerson, he said, " If the Devil 
got him, he would never know vt^hat to do witli 
him. There -seems to me to be a screw loose some- 



OUT OF THE BETHEL. 325 

where, thougli I never could tell where ; for, listen aa 
close as I might, I could never hear any jar in the 
machinery." 

" St. Peter," he said, " was the last end of a thun- 
der stoi-m, softened by the breath of the Almighty." 

He was the pet of Boston in his later days. No 
entertainment of a public sort seemed au fait with- 
out - his presence. . Perhaps no occasion gave him 
greater pleasure than on the inauguration of the Frank- 
lin statue, when he sailed in a ship that rode through 
the streets with its crew in uniform, arranging yards 
and going through mancsuvres to the especial 
pleasure of their venerable admiral. He was the 
" Walking Bethel," as Everett well said. Out of the 
Bethel he was as known, admired, and loved as in its 
sacred walls ; and after he had ceased to minister- at 
its altar, as he still walked the streets, and entered 
public places, all men did reverence to his noble ca- 
reer and nobler character. 



XYIIL 

AT HOME. 

The Comfort and Contrasts of this Life. — Mrs. Horace Mann's Account of Ifci 

— Mrs. Taylor's Home Labors. — His Activity. — Away a, Week together. — 
Drenched with Perspiration. — Her Devotion to his Work. — The First 
Sermon she heard him preacli in Marblehead. — Standing while tlie Rest 
were Sitting. — "My Moderation." — Fears of his Escaping from the Meth- 
odist Fold. — The Liberality of Unitarians. — Ralph Waldo Emerson.— 
The Lord's Supper. — His Effect on the Cambridge Divinity School. — His 
Range of Thought in Preaching. — His Treatment of Public Questions. — 
" One of his Sermons would make Fifty-Two of any other Man's." — His 
Widening Influence. — Mrs. Russell's Recollections. — His Reading.— 
Would not endure a ^slovenly Pronunciation. — He rebukes in Love. — A 
Surprise beclouded. — The Green Light in his Eyes. — Gives away a Fifty- 
Dollar Bill. — " In Heaven a Little Way." — Emerson and Balaam's Ass. 
— A Chartered "Libertine." — Bishop Hedding's Tighter Grip and his 
Looser Rein. — Carrying the Poor Children to ride. — Giving away the 
New- Year's Dinner all at once. — His Children after his Image. — How 
Capt. Sturgis would have enjoyed his own Funeral. Would not blow the 
Organ if omi tted from the Prayer. — " Did Jesus sell Old Clos' ? " — ■' Enjoy 
Other People';! Religion." — " A Sweet Sinner."— " Marrying a Minister's 
Daughter to be imputed for Righteousness." — A Guardian Angel sitting 
on tbe Back-Door Step of Heaven. — The New Homes after the Old Sort. 

THE home life of a rich nature is its truest -life. 
The abaadou it affords develops all the traits 
of that nature to their fulness. Its good and evil 
are here best exhibited. It reveals both the fire and 
the fret of genius. It may be a daguerrotype, rather 
than a painting, which presents harsh as well as 
comely expressions ; but it is still an accurate delin- 
eator of the inner man. 



AT HOME. 327 

Father Taylor had a home as free and vitalized 
with character as that of his long-time neighbor, 
Dr. Beecher. The homeless lad, roaming the hun- 
gry seas, with hungry heart, found himself, though 
still a wanderer, in- the possession of as happy a 
nest as falls to the lot of few. His wife, a counter- 
part and helpmeet of the rarest sort, offset his vehe- 
mence with her "calm ; his strength of daring with 
her strength of repose ; his improvidence with her 
prudence ; his fire with her coolness. Their children 
were endowed with the wit and independence of 
the parents ; and the household was not a gathering 
of automata, but of spirits, self-poised, almost self- 
created. In this jocund group, the house-master 
dwelt supreme. Four girls and one -boy survived, of 
six children, to grow to adult years. All are married, 
and living. The eldest daughter has contributed 
reminiscences of her mother to this testimonial. We 
add now a letter illustrating this life of home, ad- 
dressed to her by Mrs. Horace Mann, with whom and 
with her sister, Mrs. Nathaniel Hawthorne, Father 
Taylor and his wife were long and intimatelj'^ ac- 
quainted. 

" Mr DEAR DoKA, — When you told me that reminiscences of your 
honored father were to be published, I felt an impulse to add my own, 
which arc so interesting to me, and for which I had some peculiar 
opportunities of observation. My first knowledge of him was from 
Mrs. Dr. Bartlctt, then Miss Amelia Greenwood. She invited me to 
occompany lier to the Bethel one Sunday, sajnng that for two years 
}he had been in the habit of going to hear him preach with her brother, 
who was in the navy, and who always attended his preaching when at 
home. She had been the only lady out of sailors' families, wlm h;id been 



328 FATHER TAYLOK. 

in the habit of going, until the Port Society threw open the doors to 
invite the public in, hoping thereby to obtain aid to build a larger housa 
of worship. The little building was crowded to overflowing : every 
aisle was full of people standing, the pulpit stairs were full, and every 
one was transfixed, and I may say transfigured, by that flow of elo- 
quence. . • 

" After church, he invited any one of the sailors who chose to stay to a 
conference ; and he came out of the pulpit and took his seat below, to de- 
stroy whatever barrier the pulpit-walls made between himself and others. 
One man after another rose and told his experiences, — how religion first 
.'ommcnded itself to him. Extraordinary confessions, not only of sinful- 
ness in general, but of special sins, were made with the utmost simpli- 
city. Your father would often respond, and would sometimes answer 
with a fervent prayer, or would invite some one else to pray for the 
brother who had been speaking. Sometimes the brother would end his 
experience by a prayer ; and such prayers ! their eloquence and their 
pathos were beyond description. I had never heard any thing like this ; 
and I was attracted to go every Sunday, and continued to go summer 
and winter. 

" I soon became acquainted with him, — I do not now remember by 
what inti-oduction, — and then I know your mother. Soon the children 
came to oar school ; and then I went to the house often, and gradually 
became quite domesticated there. Your mother's cares were very 
onerous. The house was very small and uncomfortable : it was over- 
flowed with company. The children were often ill : I became their 
n arse as well as their schoolma'am; for at that time nothing was so 
interesting to me as the family. My love and reverence for your mother 
were unbounded : my enthusiasm for your father equally so. Sometimes 
I spent weeks there, going home with the children from school ; and 
in this way I was in all your mother's counsels. And such a mother ! 
-and such a wife! 

" Your father was then at the height of his popularity : no cause 
c 'uld get on mthout him ; and the one that he most favored and 
never refused to work for was the cause of temperance. He went to 
every part of the State to attend temperance meetings. He would retum 
from one to find himself expected at another ; and often did not sleep 
at home for a week at a time. Your mother's anxiety was very great ; 
for she feared that even his strong frame wonld sink under such exer- 
tions. I do believe that only such a wife could have kept him alive, but 
Blie was always ready. 



AT HOME. 329 

" He would come home perfectly drenched in perspiration from the 
excitement of his speaking. The fresh garments, which were always 
ready (and I have known him obliged to change them three times a 
day), she got up for him herself, in those days of small things, when 
small means were the rule. And such welcome, such cheering on in his 
work, such unvarying swcetneF/l and sympathy ! 

" lie was mindful of her, too, and kept himself informed of every de- 
tail about the children's health ; and when he could not help her for pub- 
lic duties, he had the spirit of help and care for her which lightened every 
thing. It was a luxury to be there and to help them. I loved to take 
care of the children. You were all sweet, lovely little children, never 
snubbed or neglected, always loved and attended to. I leai-nt much in 
that nursery, — which was parlor too, and sometimes kitchen, and some- 
times bed-chamber. I knew all the privations and difficulties of the posi- 
tion then, when the salary was small, and much of it went for charity. 

" I never saw your mother lose her self-possession or judgment, 
though she was often very ill. She never complained, or dwelt upon 
her own cares ; for her thoughts were for him and his work. She once 
told me that she first knew liim at Marblehead, where he preached one 
day. At the end of his discourse, she found herself standing, wliile the 
rest of "the congregation were sitting quietly ! I did not ask her, though 
I longed to know, how they first met personally ; but I was too young 
then to dare to ask. I could only karn, which I did ; I learned what a 
true and noble vrife could be under the most difficult circumstances. 

" Her broad charities of heart and feeling, greater charities than any 
almsgiving can be, though of that there was no lack, made her always 
ready to hear everyone's story, to do justice to eveiy one's view, to judge 
every one by the life, not the creed, as he did. Ilis reverence for her 
was always apparent. He wished for her opinion at every turn, and 
she was always ready to enter into the case. 

" I remember a sermon he preached one day when I was dining 
there. He asked her at dinner-time what she thought of his discourse, in 
which he had been wrought up to a high pitch of excitement, and had dealt 
with some doctrinal points. She made no reply at first. He repeated his 
question. She smiled at him, and shook her head. His whole aspect 
changed in a moment. When he rose from dinner, he stood at the side- 
board leaning his head upon his hand. I do not think they discussed 
the matter then, for the children were present. But whfn she left the 
room, he said to me, ' She is my moderation.' 

" One of his hard trials, in the early days of his aoqnainlauce with 



330 FATHER TAYLOR. 

other sects, was the visitation of his Methodist brethren, who were con 
Btantly in fear oi his escaping from their fold. They would come and 
talk with him by the hour together. He said I might stay in the room, 
and they did not take any notice of me in their earnestness about him, 
They were jealous of his Unitarian friends especially, and when it came to 
the good Mr. Dean, the Universalist clergyman, with whom he would ex- 
change in spite of their remonstrances, it came near being tragic ; not 
that there was any danger of their killing him, but only of their putting 
him out of their fold. However, he was too precious to lose; so they did 
not do that. 

" I cannot, at this distance of time, remember the details of these 
talks. I only know that I learned worlds from them about breadth of 
charity and of views, and how far he was above every species of narrow- 
ness or fetter. I remember his walking up and down the room one day, 
before two or three of these brethren, and exclaiming. 'Nonsense, 
nonsense, nonsense ! ' Often he talked and reasoned with them, but not 
on-that day. 

" The liberal sects of Boston quite carried the day at that time in 
works of benevolence and Christian charity. They took care of all the 
needy, without -regard to sectarianism. Such woman as Helen Loring 
and Elizabeth Howard (now Mrs. Bartol), Dorothy Dix, Mary Pritchard 
(afterwards Mrs. Henry Ware), and many others less known to the 
world, but equally devoted to the work, with many youthful co-adjutors, 
took care of the poor wonderfully. These women were all Unitarians. 
Mr. Joseph Tuckerman and Eobert C. Waterston were successively 
in the ministiy of the poor. The life was the creed your father judged 
by. He would not hear of any other ; and every one stood aside and 
obeyed his instincts, which showed their divine origin too unmistakably 
to be gainsaid. 

" Kalph Waldo Emerson was settled over the North Society ; and all 
through that experience of his which ended in his leaving the parish and 
the settled ministry, your father understood him when so many maligned 
him. Some one used the expression that Mr. Emerson was insane. 
Vour father did not agree with his view of the Lord's Supper, — that 
it was a thing of the past, and no longer appropriate ; for he gave great 
significance and value to it ; but he would not let that suggestion pass ; he 
said, ' Mr. Emerson might think this or that,' but he was more like Jesus 
Christ than any one he had ever known. He had seen him where his 
religion was tested, and it bore the test.' Surely, there could be no better 
^roof of Christian liberality than his appreciation of one who diflfered so 



AT HOME. 331 

en I i rely from himself in doctrine ; but, as he once said with many iUus- 
trations in one of his great discourses. ' Religion is one thing and tho 
ology another.! ' 

" He made the ministration of the Lord's Supper a very interestiug 
occasion. It was often very personal, — alarmingly so. One day, 
when I was kneeling among the sailors at his table, he said, when he 
came to me, ' Sister Mary, take and eat this.' I am afraid I did not 
go again, for I was shy in those days. But I liked to hear his appeal 
to others. I think he said something more to me that day, but I cannot 
' now remember what : I remember only the fright. 

" 1 continued for many years to go with him and your mother, fre- 
que atly, to the Wednesday-evening meetings, which were more private con- 
ferences than the Sunday ones became in the later times, when the public 
frequented the latter so much. He prefeiTcd the more private ones, and 
tried to keep them more exclusively for the sailors. As long as I remained 
in Boston, the new Bethel was as crowded every Sunday as the old one 
liad been. 

" It was a constant haunt of the Cambridge Divinity School. It 
would be difScult to measure the influence he had in the spread of 
true liberality and toleration. The sway he exercised was that of a 
great soul and intellect; it was unquestioned, irresistible. He was 
well named by his church, ' The breaking-up plough.' He was needed, 
and called for, wherever new work was to be begun, whether a 
church or a Temperance Society. He waked up souls that had erst 
slumbered : ho waked them up to themselves, too, not to be followers of 
himself, but to think originally and independently. He and Ralph 
Waldo Emerson did a great work together in those days, each working 
in his own sphere, often encountering each other in souls as well as in 
charities. Souls understood both better for the work of each. 

" The range of thought in his discourses was immense. His knowl- 
edge of books was not commensurate with his intellect ; but, limited as 
that had been by circumstances beyond his control, it was wonderful how 
he had seized the gist of almost every historical fact, ancient or modern. 
His renderings of myfliology were eminently lus own, and he often ima- 
gined an idea where there was none apparent. 

" Among all other things that he touched upon in the pulpit, public 
iiff'aii-s were strikingly prominent. He commented upon legislative do- 
ings ; he knew what went on in the courts, and when sound and when un- 
sound judgments were dehvcred; he handled public men very freely, 
Q( v-er uncharitably, but often unsparingly; he took care of the people 



332 FATHER TAYLOR. 

anl criticised the officials ; he defended the sailors, and blamed the cap 
tains in the temperance cause. Only the good captains liked him ; 
he was a sore aflSiction to the erring ones. 

" I once heard an astonishing confession of sins fi-om a captain who had 
ended a long experience of sin and misfortune and rejientance by being 
insane, and not recovering till he came home again and saw and con- 
fessed to your father, who 'Set him upon his feet, ' clothed and in his right 
mind.' The same evening I heard the confessions of seven or eight 
sailors, who went through the gates of death with Mm in the same dis- 
aster that shipwrecked him, and brought him to his bearings. I did not 
know this fact till afterwards, when I learned it from your mother, who 
was inovcd to speak that night. 

" It was only wonderful that your father's vigor lasted as long as it did : - 
his labors were incredible, and he was not a man to labor moderately. 
He never rested or slackened till the blow came which sapped the foun- 
dations of those astonisliing reasoning powers, long before they changed 
the fervor of his feelings. In those days when, as a hearer once said, one 
of his sermons would make fifty-two of any other man's, he did the 
work of half a century on the public mind. And it was an impulse 
that is not spent, and perhaps never will be ; for the circles made by 
that pulsation of his soul upon society widen ever as they go from 
the ccnti-al point, and by a vitality of their own perpetuate themselves. 
Our New-England society is far more catholic than ever before : it can 
never he imprisoned by the same bonds that shut it up in exclusive 
circles formerly. Dr. Channing, your father, and Mr. Emerson were 
our great lights. May we keep to a good and serene old age the surnv- 
ing member of that trio, who still utters his own thoughts for our edifi- 
cation, and keeps fresh in our minds the good thoughts of all other 
thinkers!" 

His daughter, Mrs. Judge Russell, adds these inter- 
esting incidents : — 

" My earliest recollections are of feading aloud to 
father, when I was so small that the books were laid 
on a chair, before which I sat on a cricket, while he 
turned the leaves as fast as I travelled down the 
pages. In this way, I read Wesley's and South'a 
Sermons ; and, although I could not understand a sen- 



AT HOME. 333 

tence, I was obliged to enunciate with the utmost 
distinctness, -because father would jiot endure a 
' slovenly pronunciation ; ' and the evident delight 
he took in every word made me try to appear as if 
I also enjoyed it. Once, after I had become old 
enough to appreciate, father asked me what I thought 
of something I was reading. I was ashamed to con- 
fess that I had thought nothing about it ; but, in try- 
ing to give an opinion that might do, betrayed- so lam- 
entably -my inattention, that he lost patience, and 
said sharplj'-, ' Don't be a fool, girl ! ' I went on, 
but with a face so scarlet and a manner so snappish, 
that he at iast said, ' Stop ! I want you to see your- 
self! You repeat words like a parrot : you are an- 
gry because I've found j'ou out ' (here he threw me a 
mischievous smile) ; ' and because I gave you a lit- 
tle fatherly warning. Now, what are you? ' — ' Oh, 
I am a fool, father ! ' I said. 'Well,' he retorted, 
'I sha'n't contradict you: it's a capital thing to 
know; Now read on ! ' 

" We children soon learned that to distrust him 
was to make him a tyrant ; but to express utter 
and unlimited confidence made him our slave. Noth- 
ing was too much trouble for him, we could not be 
too exacting, if we only believed in him. One day 
he came in with a triumphant gleam on his face, and , 
one hand hidden behind him. ' What is it, father ? ' 
I said, preparing to follow up staii-s, for he delighted 
in wonderful little surprises for us. ' Stay there till 
I call you, daughter,' was the answer. It seemed 
such a long time to wait, that T slowly mounted, step 



334 FATHER TAYLOK. 

by step until I thought father must be ready, ami 1 
would just peep in and see. I caught him fastening 
a paper-bag between the folding-doors ; and, as he 
turned and discovered my disobedience, his frown was 
fearful. ' Go out ! ' he thundered; and I felt as if 
banished forever. Soon we were called, and I crept 
in, dreading my deserved reproof. Not a word was 
said ; but a cane was given each of -us, with which we 
were to strike one blow every time we marched un- 
der the bag, until it was broken. 

" Then came a shower of red and white candies, 
which we scrambled for, — father with us, of course. 
But I was not happy ; for he looked at me'as if I had 
disappointed him, until I mustered up courage to say, 
' Was it very bad just to come up stairs and look in a 
little bit ? ' 

" ' It was not only looking in a little bit,' he said ; 
' that was a very small part of it. Your poor fathei' 
thought he would surprise his little girls, and make 
them so happy ; and then, when he was almost ready, 
one little girl would not wait, and spoiled all her 
father's pleasure, and, worse than that, made him 
vexed, so that he called out angrily, — and his little 
girls know that it breaks his heart to scold them. 
And oh ! if that little girl had only believed that her 
father wanted to please her, and hadn't forgotten her 
a moment ! But,' he added, as I began to sob, bend- 
ing on me one of his rare, sweet, unfathomable 
smiles, ' it is all over now : you are only a little child, 
ind we are all great ones; and we none of us havo 
taith enouEch in our Father.' 



AT HOME. 335 

" My greatest delight was in listening to father s 
conversations with all sorts of people ; with for- 
eigners, who visited him from curiosity ; students, 
who came to be taught; and sailors, who depended 
upon his loving counsel. From my corner in the 
study, I watched all, and learned to know what every 
line of his mouth, every curve of his brows, every 
gleam of his eyes, meant. Often I wondered that 
people didnot understand when they had said enough ; 
and to one youth, whom I considered especially rash, 
I once whispered a friendly warning. ' When you see 
that queer green light come in father's eyes,' I said, 
' and he lies back in his chair, smiling and still, be sure 
you've said something silly: you'd better stop then.' 

" His reckless generosity was so boundless, that, if 
it had not been for mother's constant watchfulness, 
we should not have had bread to eat from day to day. 
Once, at the beginning of a year, he was sent out 
with a bank-note of fifty dollars to pay a bill, which 
he was to bring back receipted. In due time he re- 
turned, but with such an expression of anxiety, and 
such an evident desire to escape observation, that I 
was convinced he had been ' naughty.' ' Where's the 
bill, father ? ' said mother. ' Here, my dear ? ' The 
packer in his forehead became so tremendous, that 
the truth flashed upon me at once ; and I was fully 
prepared for mother's astonished cry of ' It isn't re- 
ceipted. Father, youve given away the money.'' I 
held him so tightly that he couldn't run ; so at last 
he stammered, ' Well, wife, just 'round the corner I 
met a poor brother, a superannuated brother, and — 



336 FATHER TAYLOR. 

and ' — with a tone of conviction calculated to prove 
L<j us all the utter impropriety of his doing any thing 
else, — ' and, of course, my dear, I couldnt ask him 
to change it ! ' 

" ' Are you dreaming, father ? ' I said one day, 
when he was leaning back in his chair, with closed 
eyes, and a happy smHe playing about his mouth. 

" ' I am in heaven a little way,'- he answered, with- 
out moving. 

" ' And what is heaven, really ? ' I asked, climbing 
upon his knees. 

" ' It is loving God,' h£ replied, still with the same 
soft, dreamy tone. 

" ' And did you always love him,' I persisted ; ' and 
did you always preach ? ' 

" ' Yes,' he said; ' I don't remember the time when 
I did not love him, and I think I did al ways preach ; ' 
for, when I was a very little boy, I used to Idll chick- 
ens, so that I might make funeral sermons ; and, when 
there were no more chickens or birds, I dug them 
up, and buried them over again. I was very proud 
and happy, when I could make the boys cry by my 
sermons ; but, if words would not do, then I whipped 
them a little, for I had to have mourners.' 

" ' People cry now, all themselves, father : what's 
that for ? ' 

" ' Because they begin to realize how their Father 
loves them, and they feel that they love him, and mean 
to more; and a little bit of heaven comes to them, 
and that is what your father likes to preach for.' " 

These traits of home life disclose clearly what all 
his friends discerned, — the conflicts arising alike 



AT HOME. 337 

from his position and his own nature. His eulogy 
of Mr. Emerson — like his remark to an inquiry of Dr. 
Bartol, " Was there ever anybody as good as Jesus 
Christ?"— "Millions" — leaped forth in the flash 
of self-surprise. His " Moderation," who tamed the 
luxuriance of his discourse, would have clipped also 
these shoots of praise. 

In fact, he himself pruned them in other moments, 
as when he said, in closer discrimination of this rare 
spirit, " Ralph Waldo Emerson is the sweetest soul 
God ever made ; but he knows no more of theology 
than Balaam's ass did of Hebrew grammar." James 
Freeman Clarke quoted this as a good specimen of 
the saying, " Where more is meant than hits the 
ear;" for the gifted prophet was wrong, and the 
untaught beast was inspired to do right. 

His ministerial brethren did not seek to eject him 
from their fold ; for they discerned his exceeding 
love for Christ and his ardor for souls ; but they 
sometimes lamented a liberality that overstepped, in 
their judgment, the broad boundaries of Christian 
courtesy and right. They did not always consider 
the circumstances under which he was placed by the 
agreement he had himself entered into with tlieii 
conference approval. Had they been placed in like 
situation, they might have been compelled to like con- 
duct. The error was partly in the situation. 

That they worried over some features of this free 
dom is undoubtedly true. That it took certain forms 
of license which they could not adjust to their merid- 
ian is also true. Such illiberal liberalism, perhaps, 
gave rise to the following incident : — 



338 FATHER TAYLOR. 

Bishop Tleddiug once said to him, " Had I known 
that you would have slipped away from me so, Ed- 
ward, I would have held a tighter grasp." 

" Ah, Bishop," said he, " if I had known you 
lield me so loose, I would have slipped away long 
hefoi'e I did." 

And yet he never slipped away at all, or dreamed 
of slipping away. More, if possible, than in the 
story told of Gov. Andrew, would it have been true 
of Father Taylor. Had they turned him out of the 
conference, he would have clung to the Church ; had 
they expelled him from the Church, he would have 
hung on to the congregation : to his last days and 
hours, he clave to his dear old mother. He rejoiced 
abundantly in camp-meeting, conference, preacher's 
meeting, and love-feast. Here was his rest. Here 
he "found that fulness of bliss that nowhere else .pre- 
vailed. His heart was with his brethren and sisters, 
who became his in that Bromfield-street vestry, 
where God, for Christ's sake, forgave his sins, and 
gave him an inheritance forever among them that are 
sanctified. 

The incident his daughter gives reveals many 
charming traits. The simplicity and sweetness of 
his excuse, that he couldn'-t ask his poor brother to 
change a fifty-dollar bill, surpassed anything in the 
character of Parson Adams. Often, when he had a 
horse and chaise, his family would wait hours for a 
promised ride, while he was carrying the poor chil- 
dren of the neighborhood to breathe the pure air of 
the country. 



AT HOME. 339 

Another amusing example of his impulsive be- 
nevolence was shown on a New Year's eve. After 
the good old fashion, he, with his congregation, had 
seen the Old Year out and the New Year in ; and 
then, at half past twelve, he was, according to 
another pleasant fashion of his household, sitting 
' down to enjoy a bountiful supply of fricasseed 
chicken. Just then a neighbor called, and whispei'ed 
that Brother Cooper, who had taken a prominent 
part in the meeting, was in actual want of food, hav- 
ing had nothing for himself or liis family since break- 
fast. Father Ta^ylor seized the " lordly dish " before 
him. " Take it, — quick ; don't stop for compli- 
ments — run. Lord, bless Brother Coojjer, and all 
Thy saints, and feed all the hungry, now and over- 
more." And then the company sat down to a frugal 
repast, and found it better than a stalled ox. 

His children, his grandchildren, and even his 
children-in-law, inherit much of his wit. The spar- 
kle of mirth and fun is in their eyes, the sparkle of 
repartee also. When Capt. Sturgis, of the revenue 
cutter, died, quite a grand gentleman, and very for- 
mal in his style, his funeral was attended from the 
Bethel. It was a big affair : officers and seamen of 
the naval and commercial marine filled the liouse 
and square. The carriages stretched from the church 
to beyond the head of Hanover Street, a mile a,lmost 
of stately parade. The whole scene had been very 
exciting, and was, of course, the subject of talk 
at the tea-table. The boy, a little fellow, broke in 
with the remark, " It was a splendid sight, and only 



340 FATHER TAYLOK. 

Deeded one thing to make it perfect." — " What was 
tliat ? " asked his father. " The old Commodore him- 
self, sitting up in his coffin, and looking on ! " 

A young grandson, having been assigned the task 
of blowing the organ, heard his grandfather pray 
for the officers of the church, members, singers, or- 
gnnist, everybody in particular, but the organ-blower. 
He was indignant that this important official was 
omitted, and determined to have his revenge. So, 
Avhen they rose to sing the next hymn, there was no 
note from the organ to guide them. The organist 
touched the keys, but they gave forth no certain nor 
uncertain sound. After everybody had become ner- 
vous, and the preacher especially so, the wind was 
put on, and the music came out. His grandfather 
suspected nothing, but asked him at supper why the 
organ did not play. "Because I did not blow." — 
"And why didn't you blow?" — "Because you 
])rayed for all the rest, and didn't pray for the blower ; 
and I wouldn't serve, if I was to be treated thus ! " 
We presume the next time that the organist was re- 
membered in the prayer, the " blower " was likewise. 

This is as good a story as the more familiar one of 
the organist, vs^ho was proudly boasting of the execu- 
tion he had achieved. " Say ' we,' "mildly suggested 
his blower ; " for what is the organist without the 
blower ? " The haughty player disdains any such 
I'ucognition, and takes his seat for a performance. 
His admirers through the church listen. There is 
no music in the keys. Lowell's description does not 
describe it. He raves at his servitor, and orders him 



AT HOME. 341 

to blow. " Say ' we,' " is the reply from behind the 
screen. " Blow ! " comes from the front. " We ! " is 
the echo. At last the artist yields, confesses it is a 
joint operation, says " we ; " and the labors, if not hon- 
ors, are fairly shared. The young lad's indignation 
was not less peculiar, nor his victory less complete. 

A grand-daughter, having been taken by her moth- 
er through the Jewish quarter on Salem Street, was 
silent a long time after her return home. At length 
she broke the silence by asking, " Didn't somebody 
say that our Saviour was a Jew ? " — " Yes, Nellie." — 
" And did he sell old clothes down here ; and oh! " 
with a voice of agony, " will it smell like that in hea- 
ven f " The child, we fear, was not unlike many of an 
older growth in thus putting prejudice before piety. 

His children hj marriage even partake of the fam- 
ily esprit. A good brother at the camp-meeting, hav- 
ing asked his son-in-law if he enjoyed religion, was 
answered, " I enjoy other people's religion." Not 
satisfied, he asks Father Taylor, " Is your son-in-law 
a Christian ? " — " Not exactly," he replies ; " but 
he's a very sweet sinner." 

Tills same " sweet sinner," who " enjoyed other 
people's religion," improved, perhaps, ministerial fash- 
ion, on this suggestion, when he observed, that, though 
not a Christian, "his marrying a minister's daughter 
might be imputed unto him for righteousness." 

The youngest grandchild had a habit of gazing 
into the sky, insisting that she saw little angels float- 
ing about upon pink and white clouds, and that they 
beckoned to her to go up and play with them ; and, 



342 FATHER TAYLOR. 

particularly after the death of a friend, she would de- 
scribe minutely, the faces and games of these far-off 
playmates. One day, Nellie stationed herself at the 
window to see if she, too, could not be favored with 
such graceful glimpses. " 0-h, yes ! '" she said : " you 
are not the only one who can see angels. There's a 
friend of mine up there, see ? " " Little Peail," as 
she was called, looked very far off, making her eyes 
small with the effort to see any thing so insignificant, 
and then drawled with an indifference perfectly exas- 
perating, " Ye-e-s ; but she isn't much of a angel, sit- 
ting on the back-doorsteps of heaven, a-swinging her 
feets." 

Tire idea of such a forlorn position, swinging off 
into unknown space without even a foothold, com- 
pletely checked Nellie's skyward aspirations. 

When Father Taylor heard how his little grand- 
daughter triumphed, he caught lier up in h'is arms, 
and hugged her with renewed delight on her rela- 
tionship of genius, no less than of blood. The family 
grew in sunshine and shower, as all families must. 
Independent each of each, and each of all, held by 
mutual blood, but a blood that did not always march 
even on its paths, it is not surprising if thej^ should 
have revealed marked traits of character. It is pleas- 
ant to say, that though this home, where those affec- 
tionate rulers held sway so long, is broken up, and 
the liouse that gathered them under its wings is aban- 
doned, th'cy all dwell in their own homes, and repro- 
duce around their own table the vivacity that glowed 
about the parental hearthstone. 



XIX. 



WHAT THE WRITERS WROTE. 

P»!n Portraits. — A Minister's Natural Blunder. — Miss Martinoau's Portrait. 

— A Homely Jeremy Taylor. — ''Magnificent Intellect." — Power over an 
Insane Man. — " Splondid Thoyghts," "Bursts of Tears." — "Give us 
Water. The Streams are Dead." — "Bacchus and Venus driven to the 
Ends of the Earth , and off of it.' — Seamen pining for Rest. — The Stomach 
no Home for the Spirit. — Grood Opinion an Easy Trade-Wind. — A Con- 
trary Hurricane. — God's Chronometers lose no Time. — "Iwill give you 
Rest." ^" Sailors, the World's Seed-Carriers." — A Colored Pew. — J. S. 
Buckingham's Portrait. — United States Seamen. — Temperance Political 
Fight. — Preaches on Temperance. — "Thrilling and Heart-Piercing." — 
The Audience " swelled with Sobs." — " Angel of Light." — Charles Dick- 
ens's Description. — The Chapel. — The Prayer. — Text "twisted." — The 
Bible under his Arm. — "Who are these Fellows?" — '-Do they lean upon 
any thing?"^No Monopoly in Paradise. — Miss Bremer's Sketch. — "A 
Real Genius." — A Spring Morning. — Effect of a Prayer for a Widow.— 
"Coldly Moralizing Clergy." — John Ross Dix's Sketch. — Korth Street. 

— North Square. — The Bethel. — The Sailors. — Pews crammed. — Read- 
ing and Prayer. — " Have we a Scholar in the Desk ? " — Passionate Oratory. 

— Very Energetic. — Tirade against .Obstinacy. — Refers touchingly to Old 
Companions. — Dramatic Power. — An Actor fascinated. — Mrs. Jameson's 
Notes —"A Horn Poet." — "Doves flying Aloft." — " Rod of Affliction." — 
"Angel of the Deep." — " An Icicle in the Pocket." — "Touching Starboard 
and Larboard. — " She drifts to Destruction I " — " Christ is the Life-Boat." 

— American Notes by Horace Mann, R. H. Dana, Jr., R. W. Emerson, Abel 
Stevens, and Miss Sedgwick. 

HARDLY one of his contemporaries was the suL- 
JGct of more printed enlogium. He sat "for 
his portrait to many a penman. He was not always 
conscioas that this claguerrian process was going on, 

343 



344 FATHER TAYLOn. 

and perhaps fell sometimes into the blunder of s 
brother minister of much popularity, who, behold- 
ing an uncommonly attentive hearer, was inflamed 
to new ardor by the steadiness of hfe gaze. He 
had one, at least, interested in his theme, — one who 
might be won to the true way through his entreaties. 
So he grew more assured in his appeals and more 
eloquent in his argument, and sat down, trusting that 
he had won, that day, one soul to Christ. 

The next morning the' bell rings, and the gentle- 
manly auditor is ushered into the minister's presence. 
" He has come for conversation on the great subject," 
thought the minister. " I heard you yesterday," says 
the stranger. " Yes, I saw you." — "I was much 
interested." — "I am glad to hear it." — "I am a 
daguerriau. I wish to publish j'our portrait. I de- 
sire you to sit for it ; and I especially wish you would 
look as animated and brilliant as you appeared in the 
most eloquent passages of your sermon." 

How quickly his faith in human nature and in 
appearances fell before that Yankee business man ! 
Never more could he see an attentive auditor and 
not feel, " Am I sitting to him for my portrait ? " 

Father Taylor became used to such spectators, and 
cared as little for the sketcher as for the sailor. For- 
eigner or native, high-bred or low. Harvard or Hano- 
ver Street, 'twas all the same to him. He was true to 
his convictions and inspirations, floundered or soared, 
irrespective of their smiles or sneers. 

We find no less than six portraits of him by for- 
(jign writers. The earliest of these is by Miss Mar- 



"WHAT THE WEITHRS WROTE. 345 

tineau, who visited America iu 1835. She gives a 
full description of .him, and portrays his original 
and remarkable power, though she fails to see the 
source of his power, her lack of his experience pre- 
venting this knowledge. By faith alone we see faith 
in others. Her denunciation of the " colored pew " 
h worthy of the pen, that, in this same volume, at 
tliia early date, portrays William Lloyd- Gari'ison and 
defends the aholitionists.* 

"Of the last class of originals, — those who are not only strong to 
form a purpose in life and fulfil it, but who are driven by pressure of 
circumstance to put forth their whole force for the control of other des- 
tinies than their own — there is no more conspicuous example than 
Father Taylor, as he is called. In America there is no need to explain 
who Father Taylor is. He is known in England, but not extensively. 
Father Taylor is the seamen's apostle. He was a sailor-boy himself; 
and at twenty years old was unable to read. He rose in his calling, and 
at length became full of some religious convictions which he longed to 
express. He has found a mode of expression, and is happy. He is one of 
the busiest and most cheerful of men ; and of all preachers living, proba- 
bly the most eloquent to those whom his preaching suits. So it would 
appear from events. I heard him called a second homely Jeremy Taylor ; 
and I certainly doubt whether Jeremy Taylor himself could more abso- 
lutely sway the minds and hearts of the learned and pious of his day 
than the seamen's friend does those of his flock. He has a great advan- 
tage over other preachers in being able to speak to his hearers from the 
ground of tlioir common experience ; in being able to appeal to his own 
sea-life. He can say, 'You have lodged with mo in the forecastle; did 
you ever know me profane'!' ' You have seen me land from a long voy- 
age. Where did I betake myself? Am not I a proof that a sea-life need 
not be soiled with vice on land ? ' All this gives him some power ; but 
it would be little without the prodigious force which he carries in his 
magni6cent intellect and earnest heart. ... 
. "It seems as if his power was resorted to in desperate cases, like that 

* Retrospect of Western Travel. By Harriet Martineau. Vol. iii. p. 240- 
^0. London: Saunders & Otley. 



346 FATHER TAYLOR. 

of a superior being ; sueh surprising facts was I told of his influence over 
his flock. He was requested to visit an insane man, w.lo believed him- 
self to be in heaven, and therefore to have no need of food and sleep. 
The case had become desperate, so long had the fasting- and restlessness 
continued. Father Taylor prevailed at once: the patient was presently 
pcirtaking of ' the feast of the blessed,' with Father Taylor, and enjoy- 
ing the ' saints' rest on a heavenly couch.' From carrying a F>ngl3 
point like this to redeeming a whole class from much of the vice and 
woe which had hitherto afllicted it, the pastor's power seems universally 
to prevail. 

"Mr. Taylor has a remarkable person. He is stoutly btiilt, and 
looks more like a skipper than a preacher. His face is hard and weather- 
beaten, but with an expression of sensibility, as well as acuteness, 
which it is wonderful that features apparently so immovable can convey. 
Ho uses a profusion of action. His wife told me that she thought his 
health was promoted by his taking so much exercise in the shape of 
action, in conversation as well as in the pulpit. He is very loud and pro- 
digiously rapid. His splendid thoughts come faster than he can speak 
them ; and at times he would be totally overwhelmed by them, if, in the 
midst of his most rapid utterance of them, a burst of tears, of which he 
is wholly unconscious, did not aid in his relief. I have seen them 
streaming, bathing his face, when Iris words breathed the*very spirit 'of _ 
joy, and every tone of his voice was full of exhilaration. His pathos, 
shod in thoughts and tones so fleeting as to be gone like lightning, is the 
most awful of his powers. I have seen a single clause of a short sen- 
tence call up an instantaneous flush on the hundreds of hard faces turned 
to the preacher ; and it is no wonder to me that the widow and orphan 
are cherished by those who hear his prayers for them. The tone of 
his petitions is importunate, — even passionate ; and his sailor hearers 
may bo forgiven for their faith, that Father Taylor's prayers cannot be 
refused. Never, however, was any thing stranger than some particulars 
of his prayers. I have told elsewhere * how importunately he prayed 



* This is tho incident referred to. It is found in Society in America, tlie 
Englisli edition, vol. ii. p. 2G4: American, vol. ii. p. 70. 

''For many days preceding this fire, the weather had been intensely cold, 
the thermonreter standing at Boston !7 degrees below zero. O.i tUe Sunday 
before (13th of December 1855), I went to hear the .Seamen's 'friend. Father 
Taylor, as lie is called, preach at the Sailors' Chapel, in Boston. H'S elo- 
quence is of a peculiar kind, especially in' his prayers, which are absolutely 
importunate with regard to even external objectd of desire. Part of hia 



WHAT THE WKITEES WROTE. 34? 

for rain, in fear of conflagration, — and, as it happened, the Sunday be - 
fore the great New- York fire. With such petitions, urged with every 
beauty of expression, he mixes up whatever may have struck liis fancy 
during the week, whetlier mythology, politics, housewifery, or any thing 
' else. He prayed one day, when dwelling on the moral perils of seamen, 
' that Bacchus and Venus might be driven to the end of the earth, and 
off of it.' I hoard him pray that members of Congress might be pre- 
seiTed from buffoonery. Thence he passes to supplication, offered in a 
spirit of sympathy which may appear bold at another moment, but 
\»liich is true to the emotions of the hour. 'Tather, look upon us. We 
are a widow ! ' ' Father, the mother's heart thou knowest ; the mother's 
bleeding heart thou pitiest. Sanctify to. us the removal of this lamb !' 

" The eloquence of his sermons was somewhat the less amazing to me 
from my feeling, that, if there be inspu-ation in the world, it arises from 
being so listened to. It was not like the preaching of Whitefield ; for all 
was quiet in Father Taylor's church. There were no groans, few tears, 
and those unconsciously shed, rolling down the upturned face, which 
never for a moment looked away from the preacher. His voice was 
the only sound, — now tremendously loud and rapid, overpowering the 
senses ; now melting into a tenderness like that of a mother's wooings 
of her infant. The most stiiking discourse I heard from him was on 
the text, ' That we, through the comfort of the Scriptures, might have 
hope.' - A crew from among his hearers were going to sail in the course 
of a week. He gave me a totally new view of the great trial of the sea- 
man's hfe, — the pining for rest. Never, among the poets of the earth, 
was there finer discourse of the necessity of hope to man ; and never a 
more tremendous picture of the state of the hopeless. Father Taylor is 
no reader, except of his, Bible, and probably never heard of any poem 
on the subject on which he was speaking : and he, therefore went unhesi- 
tatingly into a picture of what hope is to the mai-iner in his midnight 
watches, and amidst the tossing of the storm; and, if Campbell had 
been there, he would have joyfully owned himself outdone. But then 
the preacher went off info one of his strange descriptions of what peo- 
ple resort to when longing for a home for their spirits, and not finding 
the ri"ht one. ' Some get into the stomach, and think they can make a 

prayer this day was, ' Give us water, water I Tlie broolcs refuse to murmur, 
and the streams are dead. Break up the fountains ; r-.j-.en the secret springs 
(hat. Thy hand knoweth, and give us water, ivatcr! Let us not perish by a 
famine of water, or a deluge of conflagration; for we di-ead the careless wan- 
dfiriug spark.' " 



348 FATHER TAYLOR. 

good 1) jme of that : but the stomach is no home for the spirit ; ' and then 
followed some particular reasons why. Others nestle down into people's 
ftood opinion, and think, if they can get praise enough, they shall be at 
peace. ' But opinion is sometimes an easy trade-wind, and sometimes a 
contrary hurrieano.' Some wait and wait upon change ; but the affairs 
of Providence go on while such are standing stUl, ' and God's chronom- 
eter loses no time.' After a long series of pictures of forlornncss, and 
pinings for home, he burst forth suddenly upon the the promise, ' I wiil 
give you rest.' He was for the moment the wanderer finding rest; his 
flood of tears and of gratitude, liis rapturous account of the change 
from pining to hope and rest, were real to himself and to us for the time. 
The address to the departing seamen was tender and cheerful ; vrith a 
fitting mention of the chances of mortality, but nothing which could 
be ever construed by the most superstitious of them, in the most com- 
fortless of their watches, into a foreboding. 

" Such preaching exerts prodigious power over an occasional heai-er, 
and it is an exquisite pleasure to listen to it ; but it does not, for a con- 
tinuance, meet the religious wants of any but those to whom it is 
expressly addressed. The preacher shares the mental and moral charac- 
teristics, as well as the experience in life, of his nautical hearers ; their 
imaginative cast of mind, then" superstition, their strong capacity for 
friendship and love, their ease ^bout the future, — called recklessness 
in some, and faith in others. This is so unlike the common mind of 
landsmen, that the same expression of worship will not suit them both. 
So Father Taylor will continue to be the seaman's apostle ; and, how- 
ever admired and beloved by the landsman, not his priest. This is as it 
should be, and as the good man desires. His field of labor is wide 
enough for liim. No one is more sensible than he of its extent. He 
told mo what he tolls seamen themselves, — that they are the eyes aud 
tongues of the world, the seedxarriers of the world, — the winged seeds 
from which good or evil must spring up on the wildest shores of God's 
earth. His spirit is so possessed with this just idea of the importance 
of his work, that praise and even immediate sympathy are not necessary , 
though the last is, of course, pleasant to him. One Christmas Day there 
was a misunderstanding as to whether the chapel would be open, and 
not above twenty people were present ; but never did Father Taylor 
preach more splendidly. 

" There is one great drawback in the religious services of his chapel. 
There is a gallery just under the roof for persons of color ; and ' the 
seed-carriers of the world ' are thus countenanced by Fathe'- Taylor ii» 



WHAT THE WRITERS WROTE. 349 

making a root of bitterness spring up beside tbeir homes, which, uniVr 
his care, a better spirit should sanctify. I think there can be no doubt 
that an influence so strong as his would avail to abolish -this unchristian 
distinction of races within the walls of his own churcli ; and It would 
elevate the character of his influence if the attempt were made." 

The second of these pen pictui'es is by J. Silk 
Buckingham, Esq.; a member of parliament, a lec- 
turer of some eminence, and a traveller of more. He 
describes, in minute detail, the institutions and men 
of America, putting in his account of the Boston 
churches this portrait of Father Taylor, the only full 
sketch of any Boston preacher. 

He narrates his last sabbath in Boston, Nov. 2-3, 
1838. In the morning, he heard Mr. Greenwood give 
a sketch of King's Chapel, and in the afternoon. 
Father Taylor. This was the day before the muni- 
cipal election ; and it will be noticed how the temper- 
ance question at that time, as now, invaded both 
politics and the pulpit.* 

" In the afternoon we went for the third time to hear Father Taylor, 
at the Mariner's Church, and were more deeply affected by his pecuhar 
and touching eloquence than before. There were recent circumstances 
which made the occasion one of deeper importance than usual, and these 
gave him more than his accustomed share of energy and feeling. 

" On the Friday before, it happened that five hundred men had been 
])aid off from the United-States frigate and some sloops-of-war fonn- 
ing the Mediterranean squadron, which had returned from a three years' 
absence. Large as the number was, however, thus thrown upon the stream 
at once, there were enough of grogshop keepers and other interested har- 
pies to decoy them nearly all' into their dens ; and, except the few that 
were rescued from their fangs by the Mariner's Home and the Seamen's 
Home, they were nearly all intoxicated before night. Some were robbed 

* America; mstorical, Statistic, and Descriptive. By J. S. Buckiugliam 
E^q Harper & ISrotliers. 



359 FATHER TAYLOK. 

while thus unconscious, by those who made them so for this purpose ; 
and on the followng day many were without a dollar, though on tha 
average they had come on shore with from one to two hundred dollars 
each. Being thus stripped of all their money, and reduced to a state of 
stupid insensibility by dmnkenness, they were, on the following night, seen 
choking up the streets and lanes by the wharves, so as actually to impede 
the passage ; and the night being intensely cold, the thermometer at 6°, 
the watchmen were all employed in taking them up from "the ground, 
many of them stiff with cold, and piling them up one on the other in 
heaps in the watch-houses, to prevent their being frozen to death ! This, 
was the fate that befell the brave defenders of their country when they 
returned to the land of their nativity, and this was the treatment they 
received at the hands of their fellow-citizens ! 

" On the following day, Monday, the second election was to take 
place for the representatives of Boston ; and the question at issue between 
the two sections into which the Whigs had split was, whether the regu- 
lar Whig ticket, as it was called, which contained in it no less than seven 
dealers in intoxicating liquor out of thirty-six candidates, and nearly the 
whole of the remainder wei'e for an unrestricted trade in ardent spirits, 
should be elected ; or whether the Armory-hall ticket, as it was called, on 
which were thirty-six men all in favor of upholding the recent license 
law, which prohibits the sale of spirits in a less quantity than fifteen 
gallons, should be elected in their stead. 

" Father Taylor, bearing in mind these two circumstances, took for 
his text the sixth commandment of the Decalogue, from the twentieth 
chapter of Exodus, ' Thou shalt not kill,' and made a most powerful and 
thrilling discourse. He walked up and down the platform just as a sea- 
captain walks the quarter-deck ; behind him were seated half a dozen 
fine-looking seamen, and the winding stairs ascending to this pulpit on 
each side, as well as the altar-place beneath it, were filled with seamen also. 

" In the centre, or body of the church, the whole space was filled by 
seamen only, and the side-seats below and in the gallery were occupied 
by the public generally, the whole number. exceeding a thousand persons. 
He addressed the seamen chiefly as his brethren, and told them that in the 
face of this commandment, ' Thou shalt. not kill,' many of their ship- 
mates and messmates had been mm-dered, cruelly and in cool blood mur- 
dered, some of them body and soul, by the poisonous drink admiTiistered 
to them by guilty and avaricious hands ; and after first poisoning, and 
then plundering them, they had left their victims to perish in the streets ' 
He asked whether they would look on with indifferenr-e while thes« 



■WHAT THE WRITERS WROTE. S.M 

scenes were passing aronnd them ; and he urged them to rally round rh.e 
polls to-moiTOw, and defeat the dealers in the death-inflicting liquid, by 
preventing their return as members of the legislature, and electing ihe 
friends of temperance, who are the friends of humanity, in their stead. 

" His discourse was one of the most thrilling and heart-piercing that 
it was ever my lot to hear. The. big tear rolled down his furrowed 
f heeks when he spoke of the sufferings of his brother mariners as though 
they were his ov^n children ; while the robust and manly frames of the 
seamen, to whom he addressed his discourse, alternately swelled with 
sobs and melted with tears as they heard his touching tones, and looked 
upon his beaming and benignant face. The land part of his congrega- 
tion were as deeply atfccted as the seamen, and at times there was not a 
dry eye to be seen in the whole assembly. 

" If the five hundred victims of the avarice and cruelty of the spirit- 
sellers could have been present, they would have fallen down and wor- 
shipped him ; for he seemed like an angel of light sent to save them from 
sinking in the gulf that yawned open its frightful abyss to receive them ; 
and if the voters of Boston who were indifferent to temperance, or legis- 
lators of the world who scoff at all attempts to promote it by legislative 
means, could have heard this powerful and searcliing appeal, they would 
have been ovenvhelmed with shame at their past indifference, and never 
have rested afterward till they had done all within their power to atone 
for past neglect. 

" At the close of the service, though it lasted till it was quite dark, 
every one seemed reluctant to leave ; and after many friendly greetings, 
warm prayers, cordial benedictions, and mutual interchanges of tears 
ani-1 good-wishes on either side, — for the two families. Father Taylor's 
and ray own, seemed knit by this bond of common sympathy for the 
sons of the ocean into one, — we bade a difficult and painful, yet affec- 
tionate farewell, and hoped we might meet again." 

Charles Dickens comes next in the order of time. 
Landing late in 1842, the most popular man except- 
ing Lafayette that ever visited America, crowded 
and even oppressed with favors, he found himself, 
Jan. 29, 1843, drifting in the crowd that steadily 
flowed toward the Bethel. He thus describes the 
hero of our tale on his field of battle : * — 

• American Notes. By Charles Dickenn. 



352 FATHER TAYLOK. 

" The only preacher I heard in Boston was Mr. Taylor, who addressas 
himself peculiarly to seamen, and who was once a mariner himself. 1 
found his chapel down among the shipping, in one of the narrow, old, 
water-side streets, with a gay blue flag waving freely from its roof. • lu 
the gallery opposite to the pulpit were a Uttle choir of male and female 
singers, a violoncello, and a violin. The preacher ah-eady sat in the 
pulpit, which was raised on pillars, and ornamented behind him with 
jjainted drapery of a lively a,nd somewhat theatrical appearance. He 
looked a weather-beaten, hard-featured man, of about six or eight and 
fifty ; with deep lines graven as it were into his face, dark hair, and a 
stem, keen eye.. Yet the general character of his countenance was 
pleasant and agreeable. 

" The service commenced with a hymn, to which succeeded an extem- 
porary prayer. It had the fault of frequent repetition, incidental to all 
such prayers; but it was plain and comprehensive in iu doctrines, and 
breathed a tone of general sympathy and charity, which is not so com- 
monly a characteristic of this form of address to the Deity as it mig'ht 
bo That done he opened his discourse, taking for his text a passage 
from the Song of Solomon, laid upon the desk before the eommcnccincnt 
of the service by some unknown member of the congregation : ' Who 
is this coming up from the wilderness, leaning on the arm of her 
beloved ! ' 

" He handled liis text in all kinds of ways, and twisted it into all 
manner of shapes ; hut always ingeniously, and with a rude elotpienee 
well adapted to the comprehension of his hearers. Indeed, if I bo not 
mistaken, he studied their sympathies and understandings much more 
than the display of his own powers. His imagery was all drawn from 
the sea, and from the incidents of a seaman's life, and was often remark- 
ably good. He spoke to them of ' that glorious man. Lord Nelson,' and 
of Collingwood ; and drew notliing in, as the saying is, by the head 
and shoulders, but brought it to bear upon his purpose naturally, 
and with a siiarp mind to its effect. Sometimes, when much excited 
with his subject, he had an odd way — compounded of John Bunyan 
and Balfom- of Bui'ley — of taking his great quarto Bible under his arm 
and pacing up and down the pulpit with it ; looking steadily down, 
meantime, into the midot of the congregation. Thus, v<hen ho applied 
his text to the first assemblage of his hearers, and pictured the wonder 
of the cnurch at their presumption in forming a congregation amon." 
themselves, he stopped short with his Bible under his arm, in tJie man- 
ner I have described, and ]}ursued his discourse after this manner : — 



WHAT THE WRITERS WROTE. 353 

" ' Who are those — who are they — who are these fellows 1 Where 
do they come from t Where are they going to t Come from ! What's 
the answer ? ' leaning out of the pulpit, and pointing downward with his 
right hand : ' From below ! ' starting back again, and looking at the 
sailors before him : ' From below, my brethren. From under the 
hatches of sin, battened down above you by the evil one. That's whore 
you came from ! ' — a walk up and down the pulpit : ' and whore arc 
you going "> ' — stopping abruptly : ' where are you going ? Aloft ! ' — 
very softly, and pointing upward : ' Aloft ! ' — louder : ' Aloft ! ' — 
louder still : ' That's where you arc going — with a fair wind — all taui 
and trim, steering direct for heaven in its glory, where there are no 
storms or foul weather, and where the wicked cease from troubling and 
the weary are at rest.' — Another walk : ' That's where you're going to, 
my fi-iends. That's it. That's the place. That's the port.. That's the 
haven. It's a blessed harbor — still water there, in all changes of the 
winds and tides ; no driving ashore upon the rocks, or slipping your 
cables and running out to seg, there : Peace — Peace — Peace — all 
peace ! ' — Another walk, and patting the Bible under his left arm : 
' What ! These fellows are coming from the wilderness, are they t Yes. 
From the dreary, blighted wilderness of Iniquity, whose only crop is 
Death. But do they lean upon any thing — do they lean upon nothing, 
these poor seamen "! ' — Throe raps upon the Bible : 'Oh, yes -=- yes ! 
They lean upon the arm of their Beloved ' — three more raps : ' upSn 
the arm of their Beloved ' — three more, and a walk : ' Pilot, guiding- 
star, and compass, all in one, to all hands — here it is ' — three more : 
' Here it is. They can do their seamen's duty manfully, and be easy in 
their minds in the utmost peril and danger, with this ' — two more : 
' They can come, even these poor fellows can come, from the wilderness 
leaning on the arm of their Beloved, and go up — up — up ! ' — raising 
his hand higher, and higher, at every repetition of the word, so that lie 
stood with it at last stretched above his head, regarding them in a 
strange, rapt manner, and pressing the book triumphantly to his breast, 
until he gradually subsided into some other portion of his discourse. 

" I have cited this, rather as an instance of the preacher's eccentrici- 
ties than his merits, though, taken in connection with Iiis look and man- 
ner, and the character of his audience, even this was striking. It is 
possible, however, that my favorable impression of him may have been 
greatly influenced and strengthened, firstly, by his impressing upon his 
hearers that the true observance of religion was not inconsistent with 
a cheerful deportment and an exact discharge of the duties of tlicii 
23 



354 FATHER TAYLOR. 

station, which, indeed, it scrupulously required of them ; and, secondly, 
by his cautioning them not to set up any monopoly in Paradise and its 
mercies. I never heard these two points so wisely touched (if, indeed, 1 
have ever heard them touched at all) by any preacher of that kind 
before." 

Still later comes Miss Bremer, and sets up her easel 
before the preacher. It is the winter of 1850, fifteen 
3-ears after her elder sister. Miss Martineau, had 
drawn her sketch. Things have changed in the city. 
Mr. Garrison is almost a front man now, and not the 
victim of a mob, as Miss Martineau describes him ; 
and Phillips and Emerson and Parker are filling the 
city with their fame. The seeds her sister sees in 
theology and politics have brought forth their diverse 
fruits. Though political power has not yet passed 
into the hands of the abolitionists, it is rapidly rush- 
ing thither. Still the North Square is the centre of 
pulpit attraction, and the quaint preacher crystallizes 
aU hearts about himself. Thus she writes : * — 

" I went last Sunday with Miss Sedgwick, who is come to the city for 
a few days, and two gentlemen, to the sailors' church to hear Father 
Taylor, a celebrated preacher. He is a real genius, and delighted me. 
What warmth, what originality, what affluence in new turns of thought 
and in poetical painting ! He ought of a truth to be able to awaken the 
spiritually dead. On one occasion, when he had been speaking of the 
wicked and sinful man and his condition, he suddenly broke off, and 
began to describe a spring morning in the country ; the beauty of. the 
surrounding scene, the calmness, the odor, the dew upon grass and leaf, 
the uprising of the sun ; then again he broke off, and returning to the 
wicked man, placed him amid this glorious scene of nature — but, ' the 
unfortunate one ! He cannot enjoy it ! ' Another time, as I was told, 
he entered his church with an expression of profound sorrow, with bowed 

* The Homes of the New World. By Frederika Bremer. Uarper & Brothers- 



"WHAT THE WEITEES WROTE. SS.": 

(lead, arid without looking to the right and the left an is his custon 
(N.B. — He must pass through the church in order to reach the pulnit), 
and without nodding kindly to friends and acquaintances. All won 
dered what could have come to Father Taylor. He mounted the pulpit, 
and then bowing down, as if in the deepest affliction, exclaimed, 'Lord, 
have mercy upon us because we are a widow ! ' And so saying, bo 
pointed down to a coffin wliich he had had placed in the aisle below th« 
pnlpit. One of the sailors belonging to the congregation had just died, 
leaving a widow and many small Children without any means of sup- 
port. Father Taylor now placed himself and the congregation in the 
position of the widow, and described so forcibly their grief, their mourn 
ful countenances, and their desolate condition, that at the close of the 
sermon the congregation rose as one man, and so considerable was the 
contribution which was made for the widow, that she was raised at once 
above want. In fact, our coldly moralizing clergy who read their writ- 
ten sermons ought to come hither, and learn how they may touch and 
win souls. 

"After the service I was introduced to Father Taylor and his agreea- 
ble wife, who in disposition is as warm-hearted as himself. The old 
man (he is about sixty) has a remarkably lively and expressive counte- 
nance, full of deep furrows. When we thanked him for the pleasure 
wliich his sermon bad afforded us, he replied, ' Oh, there's an end, an 
end of me ! I am quite broken down. I am obliged to screw myself 
up to get up a little steam. It's all over with me now ! ' 

" While ho was thus speaking, he looked up, and exclaimed, mth a 
beaming countenance, ' What do I see ? Oh, my son, my son ! ' And 
extending his arms, he went forward to meet a gigantically-tall young 
man, who, with joy beaming on his fresh, good-tempered countenance, 
was coming through the church, and now threw himself with great fer- 
vor into Father Taylor's arms, and then into those of his wife. 

" ' Is all right here, my son ? ' asked Taylor, laying his hand on his 
breast ; ' has all been well kept here ? Has the heart not become hardened 
by the gold ? But I see it, I see it ! AU , right, all right ! ' said he, as 
he saw large tears in the young man's eyes. ' Thank God ! God bless 
thee, my son ! ' And with that there was again a fresh embracing. 

" The young man was a sailor, no way related to Father Taylor, 
except spiritually ; who, having been seized by the Californian fever, had 
set off to get gold, and now had returned after an interval of a year, 
but whether with or without gold, I know not. But it was evident that 
the heart had not lost its health. I liave heard a great deal about th« 



,•{56 FATHER TAYLOR. 

kindness and liberality of Father Taylor and his wife, in particular tc 
poor sailors of all nations." 

Another of these foreign writers is John Ross Dix, 
less known to fame, but a fluent sketcher of men and 
things.' He despribes with much fulness the preacher 
in his ripening age; It was in 1854. He still held 
all hearts in his grasp, though a flavor of decay stole 
almost insensibly over his ministrations. He fails to 
catch that gleam of genius which glowed like " the 
light that never was on sea or land " over all his 
finest utterances, and which Miss Martineau seemed 
most clearly to have caught and limned. Yet his 
description of the man, his location, and his work, are 
not unworthy of a renewed memory : * — 

" We are now travelling from the fashionable regions of Bcaeon or 
Park Streets. We have left State Street in its Sunday silence, — a 
silence only disturbed by a few danglers about the post-office entrance, — 
behind us. Faneuil Hall, too, is closed and still, and Quincy Market 
no longer presents its long arcade filled with creature-comforts and 
i'X)mestibles. Skirting that quaint old gabled building at the corner, 
we soon find ourselves in the gentility tabooed region of Ann Street, 
or, as it is now called, after a cardinal point of the compass. North 
Street, — the stars, however, of that ' North ' being exceedingly erratic 
and wandering, and by no means of as true and fiiithful a character 
as the mariner's sky or beacon-light. 

" Be careful how you walk along these sidewalks ; for at eve'-y step 
an open trap-door yawns to ingulf you, and to escape the dangerous 
depths — more dangerous and deceitful than any which yawn on dismal 
seas — you must plunge into the foul gutter that lazily flows by, reeking 
with filth and pestilence. On week days, these dons send forth from their 
hideous recesses sounds of fiddle and tambourine that mock the sur- 
rounding moral desolation, and act as lures to some dance-1 jving tar ; 

* Pulpit Portraits of Distinguished American Divines. By John Hess Dii 
Boston : Tappan & Whittemore, 1854. 



■WHAT THE WRITERS WROTE. 357 

but now a certain compulsory respect is paid to the sabbath clay, and 
for vile music is substituted viler oaths and curses that fall from the lips 
of men, boys, women, and girls, that lie blinking and blearing on the 
steps, — their drunken fits of the previous nig'ht not being half shaken off. 
A,j wo proceed, we note at the corners of lanes and courts villainous- 
looking boys, who eye you furtively, and then, as a police-officer appears 
in sight, dive back into the gloom from which they had emerged, only to 
re -appear when the civic functionary is, out of sight. Here and there a 
groggy, coatless sailor is to be seen reeling along with a slatternly 
wench ; and as you pass the barbers' shops a buzz of strange noises issues 
from the open 4oors. All around is filth, folly, and iniquity ; and were 
it not for a few decently-dressed people who are walking sedately toward 
the church in North Square, you would iinagine that Pandemonium had 
here located a colony, so fiendish, foul, and ferocious appeared the face of 
every man, woman, and child that slunk about within its horrible precincts. 

" Having reached a ' fork ' of Ann Street, we enter North Square, — 
the name clearly a misnomer, seeing that it is a triangular space ; but 
w,hat is in a name 1 Boston is called a moral and a model city, and we 
have just witnessed what iniquity blackens and fosters in its very heart ! 
In this North Square we know there is a church, but as yet we discern 
it not : but looking upward, we see from a stunted tower a blue flag 
waving ; and in front of us are open doors, flanked by pillars of rough 
undressed granite, through which people are passing; and, feeling 
assured that this is Father Taylor's church, we pause in our walk. 

" Just opposite where we stand, the door of a house is opened : a 
rather striking looking person emerges from the interior, and proceeds 
briskly along the sidewalk towards the church-door. The people, or 
some of them, stare at him ; but on he goes, heeding none of them. He 
is of the average height, but spare and wiry, — no superfluous flesh 
about his iron frame; and he treads the street as firmly as a youth, 
though more than sixty years must have passed over that weather- 
beaten figure. His chest is wrapped up in a gray plaid, of a small 
checked pattern ; and — for the air is keen — he muffles up his face with 
if, permitting us only to see some iron-gray locks that straggle from 
under his closely pressed-down beaver. But no matter, we shall have 
an opportunity presently of seeing him to better advantage ; for that is 
Father Tatlok. 

"After ascending a short flight of steps, we find ourselves in the 
Bethel Church. It is small and neat, — the only omf jnent being a 
large painting at the back of the pulpit, representing a ship in s stifF 



3o8 FATHBE TAYLOR. 

breeze off a lee shore, we believe; for we are not seaman enough to ba 
certain on the point. High over the mast-head are dark storm-clonds, 
from one of which a remarkably small angel is seen, with outstretched 
arms, — the celestial individual having just flung down a golden anchor 
bigger than itself, to aid the ship in her extremity, we presume, although 
there is attached to the said anchor but a few inches of California cable 
which for any practical purpose would not be of the slightest use. How- 
ever, we must not be critical on allegories ; and perhaps many a sailor 
now on the great deep has pleasant recollections of the picture : if so, 
a thousand such anachronisms might well be pardoned. 

"Whilst the choir in the gallery is singing a hymn to the homely tones 
of a small organ, let us glance at the congregation ; and a motley gath- 
ering it is. 

" There are no affectations in this place of worship, whatever there 
may be in some others that we wot of. From our pew (into which we 
were ushered by an old sailor with a patch over his eye and a limp in 
his gait) we can survey the whole scene. And it is a motley one. The 
centre of the church is principally occupied by sailors ; and in some of 
the side pews are landsmen, attracted by curiosity perhaps, or they may 
be relatives of seamen. But, somehow, even many of these have an 
ampliibious air, as though they could, without much effort, cast off their 
dress-coats and don the blue jacket. 

" Sailors of all descriptions are there. Old salts with grizzled locks, 
short and crisp on the temples, and thin on the crown ; ' Jacks,' in 
the prime of life, with dark hair, or locks bleached by storms and time, 
with sun-burnt faces, and great freckled hands, and brown necks, and 
with a free and easy roll in their walk ; fine handsome young fellows, 
coxcombs of the sea, who had come ' capering ashore,' with plenty of 
dollars and dimes ; young lads with frank faces and clear eyes, and 
turned down blue collars, bordered with white; rough, hairy-looking 
feUows, in their shirt-sleeves, or red shirts, lounging in the seats uneasily, 
as though they were sadly out of their element, as indeed they are; 
and well-dressed captains and mates, with their wives and children, 
all looking as happy as kings and queens, because ' father is 1 ome 
again.' These, and many others, whom we cannot stay to describe, 
compose, to a great extent, the honest-looking, hearty audience, who ara 
this morning to listen to Father Taylor. 

"■ But here and there are worshippers of another class. Fale, anxious- 
looking women, some of whom shudder involuntarily as the wind roars 
without. And well may they : for their husbands or brothers or sons oi 



WHAT THE WRITERS WROTE. 359 

fathers are far out upon icy seas, where, during tae long polar night, 
only faint flashes of the aurora borealis partially illuminate berg and 
floe ; or sweltering in the dreary calms of tropical oceans, on whose long 
lazy swell are reflected the coruscations of the glorious Southern Cross ; or 
it may be on surf-beaten reefs, whore the shipwrecked sailor lifts his tat- 
tered signal on his broken oar, and strains his blood-shot eye, in the hope 
of attracting the notice of some passing ship, — some vessel of Hope, 
— whose hull never darkens the distant horizon ; or, haply, lying ' full 
fifty fathoms down,' his bones bleachiug in ocean-caves, from whence 
they shall never rise until the sea give up the dead that are in it. And 
there are ocean widows, too, in that assemblage, not knomng them- 
selvfes to be such, who, in their lonely rooms to which they shall pres- 
ently repair, have gaudy portraits of their absent spouses on the walls, 
and strange waifs and sti'ays of the deep on the mantle-shelf, — seaweed 
and shells, and insect-bored wood, and a model of a ship on a bracket, 
made by his own hands, and rigged to a rope, and sea-horses' teeth, 
and old books of navigation and the like; none of which they would 
exchange for their weight in gold. 

" Gradually the church has become full, but ' the cry is yet they 
come.' The pews are nearly every one occupied, and every now and 
then Father Taylor rises, and with his long arm waves some sailor to a 
seat that his keen eye spies out ; for he has no idea of space being sacri- 
ficed to ease. At length the pews are crammed, and now he calls the 
fresh-comers to the sofa of the pulpit. With half-bashful looks the tars 
mount the steps and sit beside the minister, who at length has even his 
own seat filled. But he rather likes that ; for he paces to and fro on the 
platform, a smile of grim satisfaction playing on his features. At last 
all are supplied with seats, and the service commences. 

" The congregation having ' settled down,' the minister advances to 
tha desk, hymn-book in hand, and, with spectacles pushed up t» the 
summit of his high fun-owed forehead, again narrowly scrutinizes his 
audience. The gray plaid has been flung aside, and you see a vigorouiJ 
but not fleshy frame before you. The gray eyes are piercing, and filled 
with energy, and there is vigor and determination in every lineament. 
W ith the chin slightly dropping on the chest, he again peers over his 
gLasses into remote corners of the church, and occasionally waves hand 
or hymn-book as ho perceives some sailor without a seat. At length, all 
being apparently disposed to his liking, he gives out the hymn. 

"And he reads it with much feeling, — heart-feeling, I mean. Ilia 
voice seems at first somewhat husky, but it is perfectly distinct. Tlicre in 



360 FATHER TAVLOI?. 

decisioTi in every tone. Occasionally he indulges in a brief coinmciiriirj 
between the verses, and, it may be, requests those who do not participate 
in the sentiments uttered not to join in singing them. Then, having 
gone through the hymn, the choir sings it. 

" Whilst they are so engaged Father Taylor does not sit down. 
There seems to be very little desire for repose on his part. With folded 
arms, and spectacles again shoved up amidst his iron-gray hair, he pace* 
to and fro on the platform, — now with his eyes bent on the floor, and 
now curiously eying the people below. A hawk's eye has he ; and be 
there a single unoccupied inch of space, you may be sure that it will not 
escape his notice. By the time the hymn is finished he has resumed his 
place at the desk ; and, opening the Bible with a jerk, he reads a f haptei 
from it. 

" As in the case of the hymn, so in that of the chapter, he reads 
impressively, if not with a due regard to elocutional conventionalities. 
For all kinds of scholastic restraints, indeed, he has an evident abhor- 
rence. This portion of the exercises terminated, he kneels, and offers up 
a prayer. 

" The spectacles are again on the summit of his forehead ; and, as he 
w.-ixes warm and animated, we confidently expect that they will not long 
retain their position. But no : they are .apparently used to it ; and there, 
spite of sundry shakes of the head, — not over gentle ones either, — they 
remain. At first his petitions to Heaven's mercy-seat are short, pithy, 
and sententious ; but, as he goes on, the prayer partakes a good deal of 
the character of an impassioned speech. With eyes rigidly closed, a 
swaying motion of the body, a grip of the cushion-corners by his ner- 
vous hands, and mth disarranged hair, he goes on as energetically as 
i\ny ' Praise-God-Barebones ' of the old Covenanter times. And he 
prays for all, ^for his own land and other lands ; for sailors of all 
nations and on all seas ; for the whole human raco There is an 
pxpansive benevolence in his addresses to the Deity which seems charac- 
teristic of the man ; nothing of sectarian narrowness, not a particle of 
l.igotry. As may be expected, ' they that go down to the sea in ships ' 
engross a large portion of his petitions ; and the earnestness with which 
he pleads for their special necessities frequently draw tears from manv 
an eye. 

" Another hymn, and now for the sermon. 

" The text is read twice ; then there is a pause, during which ths 
preacher quietly looks around him ; then with a sudden touch the specta- 
cles ascend, and in firm, decided tones he commences his discourse. 



WHAT THE WRITERS WROTE. 3G1 

" Havt we a scholar in the desk 1 Father Taylor gives the meaning 
of some wird in the ' original.' And he does it well, too, though it is 
not difficult to discern that he has got his information at second-hand. 
But then, he does not pretend to profundity of learning ; he has so lofty 
a scorn of hypocrisy of any sort, that ho would be the last man to pass 
bimself off for that which he is not, — an erudite student. Nor does he 
require such adventitious aid : indeed ho is better without it ; for though 
I yield to no man in my reverence for learning, I firmly believe that 
many a fine mind is cramped by collegiate training. For nearly every 
good writer amongst our divines, a good preacher is sacrificed. 

" On goes Father Taylor with his sermon. After proceeding for 
about a quarter of an hour ho gets fairly warmed up to his work ; and 
Qow, pushing the Bible to one side of the cushion, and thromng up the 
spectacles, he pours forth a flood of passionate oratory. Every now and 
then he pauses, rubs the side of the cushion with his long hand, 
looks as though some strong thought was seething and molting and fus- 
ing itself in the crucible of his brain ; and now he pours it forth to take 
form and shape for the edification of his hearers. And quaint and 
grotesque enough these ' castings ' of his thoughts are. Solemn and in 
earnest as the preacher is, it is impossible to avoid smiling occasionally 
at his remarks. At one moment ho shall draw you a picture of the 
most touching pathos, so that your eyes will moisten and your lip 
quiver; and in the next, some sliarp sarcasm, or withering denunciation, 
or scorching satire, shall cause you to wonder at the old man's energy. 
Touches of tme poetry are not unfrcquent; and I have heard as pure 
eloquence fall from his lips as ever the most accomplished and much- 
Uudsd aniongot us ever delivered. And the glory of all these things 
WAS only the more perceptible, because, apparently, so unpremeditated. 
All things said and done were said and done off-hand, and in a tone that 
might surely appear gruff, but for th6 music of sensibility which turned 
i!:j othcrwi.<e hard cadences to harmony : so ho bluntly shook out upon 
his auditors words and illusions wliich each was a poem. No man that 
t have seen ever revealed more plainly than Father Taylor how much 
more he felt and saw than he was able to utter ; his eye revealed it. 
The figure and the phrase were beautiful ; but from that rough and care- 
less tongue, yet quivering wkh sensibility, they became overpowering 
and sublime. 

" Very energetic becomes Fathei Taylor at times. As he speaks ha 
paces to and fro almost gasping with emotion. Sometimes ho stops 
suddenly, rests his hands on the cushion, stoops forward, and, fixing 



362 FATHER TAYLOB. 

his eye on some person or other, exclaims something in this way 
' And you, sir, you, sir ! you think you can escape the eye of this aU-se& 
ing God, sir, — you, a poor worm of the earth, — you (rubbing his hands 
along the side of the pulpit cushion), I toll you, sir,' &c. And then 
ho turns to another part of the building, and in subdued tones, says, 
' We are all of us soon to go to God's judgment-seat. Here we're like a 
balloon, — all filled with the buoyant gas, and ready to ascend into the 
pure atmoophoro — 'tis only confined to the ground by cords — now 
they're cut, and there it goes — up — up — up — and away it sails in all 
its beauty and tVcodom, far from this earth below. Yes, yes (pointing 
to an old gentleman in the middle of the church), my aged brother, 
you'll, soon go ; there are but few cords to keep you here ; you're nearly 
ready ; the last tie will soon be cut. I can see you, like the balloon, 
swaying to and fro, impatient to be gone. God speed you, my brother.' 
" To such as this would succeed, perhaps, a tirade against obstinacy. 
And then we are given a graphic description of the conversion of Saul 
of Tarsus, during which we are told that the ' old rascal, when going to 
Damascus to persecute the Christians, was knocked off his horse ;' or to 
illustrate the process of conviction he would put himself in a shooting 
attitude, and shoot invisible arrows from imaginary bows right into 
some of the pews. Now he would, in soft and felicitous accents, describe 
the beauties of a Paradise morning, and then fly off at a tangent to fling 
a contemptuous sentence at ' Mr. Fiddle-de-dee up there, who endeavored 
to account for the miracles of Christ.' One Sunday morning I heard 
liim, when addressing sailors, refer touchingly to his old companions of 
the deep, which he did something in this way. I have no notes to guide 
mo, and therefore the reader must not expect absolute accuracy ; but I 
will be as nearly correct as possible. He had boon preaching a long 
sermon, and seemed somewhat fatigued ; but suddenly he blazed up, and 
exclaimed, ' Ah ! my time is nearly up, I see ; but I fed as if I was only 
j unt beginning to preach now. Yes, yes, I could keep on for hours to 
come ; but I must close. But I can't do so without a few more words to 
some that I may never see again. I've been engaged in the work many 
years, and my toil may be most done. Ah ! where are all my old ship- 
mates gone, — they who lay in hammocks beside mo, and who have 
fought at the same gun 1 Gone, gone, they are all gone ! No, blessed 
bo God, not all : there's one left. [Here he pointed to an old salt with 
a bald head, a red nose, and a regular man-of-war cut.] Yes, there's 
old Timberhead ! Ho and I have weathered many a storm together. 
But he's moored safely now, and waiting for the last bell. [Here pool 



WHAT THE WRITEr.S WROTK. 3(j.'3 

olil Timberhcad began to show symptoms of tears, :is did many more, 
myaoif i.ieliidod.] The summons will soon be heard, brother: Ay, 
and many of //cr, ray aged friends, will soon hear it to. You are tossed 
and tempes^d^^ven now, but it's only a little farther you have to sail 
look ahead ; you'll have only to beat round tliat last point, and then 
you'll be safe moored. Yonder's the haven in fidl view.' And a mur- 
mur of ' bless God ' concluded the appeal. 

" It has been said that F^jthcr Taylor gives one the impression of a 
person who hates the Devil more than he loves Christ. I do not think 
so. Fierce indeed is the warfare which ho wagas ag-iinst the powers ot 
darkness ; but not less powerful is he when he dwells on the glories of 
heaven and the mercy of Jehovah. With such hearers as his, it is neces- 
sary that the battering-ram of Truth should be worked by no feeble 
hand; but happily he can heal the breach after he has made it. No, 
no : Father Taylor loves Chri.5t all the more for hating Satan co much. 

" On one occasion wo visited Bethel Church in company with a New- 
York comedian of high reputation in his walk. Father Taylor com- 
menced by an appeal in behalf of a Sunday-school picnic, and spoke so 
beautifully of children, and showed how mitch ho loved to see them at 
their little sports, that he almost seemed himself to grow young again in 
the recollection of them. The actor was perfectly fascinated ; and at an 
after part of the discourse, wliile Mr. Taylor was indulging in a strain 
of pathos, I chanced to look round, and my friend, used as he was to 
artificial scones and descriptions, was so atfacted by the unstudied art of 
the preacher, that ho fairly blubbered behind his pockot-handkerchief." 

Mrs. Jameson's notes, though less extended than 
any of her predecessors, are the more valuable ; for 
they are confined almost entirely to remarks of his 
rather than descriptions of him. Though one of 
the first of foreigners to detect his genius, she was 
almost the last to reproduce him, her memorials not 
being published until 1854. This is her bunch of 
remarks : * — 

" When I was at Boston I made the acquaintance of Father Taylor, 
the founder of the Sailors' Home in that city. He was considered as 

* A Commonplace Book of Thoughts, Memories, and Fancies. Loudon, 1854. 



364 FATHER TAYLOR. 

•the apostle of the seamen, and I was full of veneration for him as tlia 
enthusiastic teacher and philanthropist. But it is not of his virtues ot 
his lahors that J wish to speak. He struck me in another way, 'in a 
poet : he was a born poet. Until he was five and twenty he had never 
learned to read, and his reading aftei-wards was confined to such books 
as aided him in his ministry. Ho remained an illiterate man to the 
last ; but his mind was teeming with spontaneous imagery, allusion, 
metaphor. One might almost say of him, — 

' He could not ope 
His mouth, but out there flew a trope 1 ' 

These images and allusions had a freshness, an originality, and some- 
times an oddity, that was quite startling ; and they wei-e generally, but 
not always, borrowed from his former profession, — that of a sailor. 

" One day we met him in the street. He told us in a melancholy 
voice, that he had been burying a child, and alluded almost with emo- 
tion to the great number of infants he had buried lately. Then after a 
pause, striking his stick on the ground and looking upwards, he added, 
' There must be something wrong somewhere ! there's a storm brewing 
when the doves are all flying aloft ! ' 

" One evening in conversation with mc he compared the English and 
the Americans to Jacob's vine, which, planted^ on one side of the wall, 
grew over it, and hung its boughs and clusters on the other side ; ' but 
it is still the same vine, nourished from the same root ! ' 

" On one occasion when I attended his chapel, the sermon was pre- 
ceded by a long prayer in behalf of an afflicted family, one of whose 
members had died or been lost in a whaling expedition to the South 
Seas. In the midst of much that was exquisitely pathetic and poetical, 
refined ears were startled by such a sentence as this, ' Grant, O Lord ! 
t hat this rod of chastisement be sanctified, every twig of it, to the edifi- 
cation of their souls ! ' 

" Then immediately afterwards he prayed that the Divine Comforter 
might be near the bereaved father ' when his aged heart went forth from 
bis bosom to flutter round the far southern grave of his boy ! ' Praying 
lor others of the same family who were on the mde ocean, ho exclaimed, 
stretching forth his arms, ' Oh, save them ! Oh, guard them ! thou angrl 
of the deep.' 

" On another occasion, speaking of the insufficiency of the moral 
principles without religious feelings, he exclaimed, ' Go heat your oven 
»lih snowballs ! What! shall I send you to heaven with such an ieicla 



■WHAT THE WRITEES WliOTE. 365 

in your pocket t I might as well put a millstone round your neck to 
teach you to swim ! ' 

" lie was preaching against violence and cruelty : ' Don't 'alk to 
me,' said he, 'of the savages ; a ruffian in the midst of Christendom is 
tlio savage of savages. He is as a man freezing in the sun's heat, grop- 
ing in (ho sun's light, a straggler in paradise, an alien in heaven ! ' 

" In his chapel all the principal seats in front of the ])ul]iit and down 
the centre aisle were filled by tlie sailors. Wo' ladies and gentlemen 
. and strangers, whom curiosity had brouglit to hear him, were rangetl 
on each side ; he would on no account allow us to take the bcjt places. 
On one occasion, as he was denouncing hypocrisy, luxury, and vanity, 
and other vices of more civilized Ufo, he said emphatically, ' I don't mean 
you before me here,' looking at the sailors : ' I believe you arc wicked 
cnQugh, but honest fellows in some sort ; for you profess less, not more, 
than you practise : but I mean to touch utarhoard and larboard there ! ' 
stretching out both hands with the forefinger extended, and looluug at 
us on cither side till we quailed. 

" He compared the love of God in sending Christ upon earth to that 
of the father of a seaman who sends his eldest and most bc!oved son, 
the hope of the family, to bring back the younger one, lost on his voy- 
age, and missing when his ship returned to port. 

" Alluding to tlio carelessness of Christians, he used the figure of a 
mariner, steering into port through a narrow, dangerous channel, 'false 
lights here, rocks there, shifting sandbanks on one side, breakers on the 
other ; and who, instead of fixing his attention to -keep the head of his 
vessel right, and to obey the instructions of the pilot as he sings out 
from the wheel, throws the pilot overboard, lashes down the helm, and 
walks the deck whistling, with his hands in the pockets of his jacket.' 
Here, suiting the action to the word, he put on a true sailor-like look of 
defiant jollity ; changed in a moment to an expression of horror as he 
added, ' See ! see ! she drifts to destruction ! ' 

" One Sunday he attempted to give to his sailor congregation an 
Idea of Redemption. He began with an eloquent description of a ter- 
rific storm at sea, rising to fury through all its gradations ; then, amid 
the waves, a vessel is seen laboring in distress, and driving on a lee shore. 
The masts bend and break, and go overboard ; the sails are rent, the 
helm unshipped ; they spring a leak ; the vessel begins to fill, the water 
gains on them ; she sinks deeper, deeper, deeper, deeper ! He bent over 
the pulpit, repeating tlio last words again and again ; his voice became 
low and hollow. The faces of the sailors as they gazed up at him with 



366 FATHER TAYLOR. 

their months wide open, and their eyes fixed, I shall never forget. Siid 
denly stopping, and looking to the farthest end of the chapel as into 
spare he exclaimed, with a piercing cry of exultation, ' A life-boat ! a 
life-boat ! ' Then looking down upon his congregation, most of whom 
had sprang to their feet in an ecstasy of suspense, he said in a deep, 
impressive tone, and extending his arms, ' Christ is that Ufe-hoat ! ' " 

There were less Americans of note who dwelt on 
the Bethel and its chief, probably because Americans 
of note do not write much concerning their own 
men. Horace Mann, in his diary, refers to him in 
two or three lines, — commending his sincerity and 
his toleration, but neither describing nor quoting him.* 
Richard H. Dana, jun., tells, in his " Two Years Before 
the Mast," how the first inquiry of the far-off Cali- 
fornia sailors whom he met there was for Father 
Taylor. Emerson gave him a 

" White marble Btatue in words,'* 

in his discourse on Eloquence, yet unpublished. 
Stevens, in his History of the Methodist Episcopal 
Church, sketches the most famous of her preachers. 
He says, f — 

* These are all the references in his published diary (Life of Horace Mann) : 
" JuTie 4, 1837, Sunday. — Judging from external indications, what do ministers 
care on Monday, at a dinner-party or a jam, which way souls are sleeping ? Let 
me always except in this city, however. Dr. Charming and good old Father Tay 
lor." — p. 74. 

^^ July 2, Sunday. — I heard Mr. Taylor this afternoon. How wonderfully rare 
it is to hear a sentiment of toleration uttered by a man who cares aught about 
religion ! A sceptic may well indorse the right of private .iudgment on religious 
subjects; for it is only an error on a topic which at least he holds to he worth- 
less. I3ut for one whose heart yi-arns toward religion, who believes it to be the 
'all,' — for such an one to avow, practise, feel, the noble sentiment of tmiversal 
toleration, can proceed from nothing but a profound recognition of human rights 
and the conscientious obedience, to all their requirements. Yet such is Mr 
Taylor." — p. 181. 

t History of the Methodist Episcopal Church, vol. iv. pp. 2U8-9. 



WHAT THE WRITERS WROTE. oiJV 

*■ In a spacious and substantial chapel, crowded about by the norsl 
habitations of the city, he delivered every sabbath, for years, discourses 1 he 
most extraordinary, to assemblies also as extraordinary perhaps as could 
be found in the Christian world. In the centre column of seats, guarded 
sacredly against all other intrusion, sat a dense mass of mariners, — a 
strange medley of white, black, and olive, — Protestant, Catholic, and 
sometimes pagan, representing many languages, unable probably to com- 
prehend each other's vocal speech, but speaking there the same language 
of intense looks and flowing tears. On the other seats, in the galleries, 
the aisles, the altar, and on the pulpit stairs, crowded, week after week, 
and year after year ( among the families of sailors, and the poor who 
had no other temple), the dite of the city, the learned professor, the 
student, the popular writer, the actor, groups of clergymen, and the vo- 
taries of fashion, listening with throbbing hearts and wot eyes to the man 
whose chief training had been in the forecastle, whose only endowments 
were those of grace and nature, but whose discourses presented the 
strangest, the most brilliant exhibition of sense, epigrammatic thought, 
pathos, and humor, expressed in a style of singular pertinency, spangled 
over by an exhaustless variety of the finest images, and pervaded by a 
spiritual earnestness that subdued all listeners ; a man who could scarcely 
speak three sentences, in the pulpit or out of it, without presenting a 
striking poetical image, a phrase of i-are beauty, or a sententious sarcasm, 
and *.he living examples of whose usefulness are scattered over the seas." 

Last of all, Miss Sedgwick in her memoirs, lately 
published, bears testimony to his fame. In her jour- 
nal, she writes,* — 

"Nov. 2, 1835. — Went to hear Mr. Taylor at the Seamen's Bethel ; 
and there was sometliing like what the ministrations of the Christian 
religion should be, — the poor, the ignorant, the neglected, taught rarely 
and with a glowing zeal. Such men should be the messengers of Christ : 
;hey are sent. His heart is full and his lips touched: be does not 
scourge his brains by midnight lamps, but comes panting with good 
aews from his Father's house to the wandering and wayfaring chil 
ii-en." 

« Life of Catherine Sedgwick, p. 247. 



XX. 



MOTHER TAYLOR. 



The Time to go up higher. — The name " Mother " loug held in her ow n Right. 
-^ Her Deep Devotion to the Common Cause. — llcirs Avis Keenc while 
attending Conference at Lynn. — Ilefreslied on Anniver.sary AVeek. — Mow 
she preached her First Sermon. — Visits Marblehead. — Ilasteus to her 
Husband on hearing of his Attack by Cholera. — Mention of Dr. Stevens. 
— An Incident in the Death of an Aged Member. — Noten her Husband's 
Absence from Social Meetings. — Converses about his Biography. — Her 
Lynn " Friends " at the Bethel. — Record.? Father Taylor's Eeluctanoe to 
Resign. — Father Merrill's Services. — Comfort in Old Age "through the 
de.ar Unitarian Friends." — Views of Ministerial Work. — Rounding the 
I'ort. — Retires from Active Work. — Partial Paralysis. — Still hopes to 
labor for the Seamen. — " Fifty-nine Years of Salvation." — "Come out 
from the World." — Christiana going First. — Her Orders for her Burial 
and that of her Husband. — In Great Distress. — Sees Heavenly Flowers. — 
Parts with Father Taylor. — Going to a Beautiful Land. — Her Remarkable 
Beauty. — Gone I — Her Funeral. — Dr. Waterston's Words. — Rev. Mr. 
Noyes's. —Her Choice Deliberate. — The Old Wav sufficient for her. — On 
Mount Hope. 

WE have seen how happy was the beginning and 
continuance of the home life of Father Tay- 
lor. But every earthly beginning must have an 
earthly end. The time came when his companion 
of youth and age must go up higher. They had 
climbed the hill of life together. Together they 
must go down, " and sleep thegither at the foot." As 
her journal gave glimpses of her youthful experience, 




("MOTJ^KR- TJiYTjDTl. ) 



MOTHEK TAYLOR. 369 

BO we find in them pictures of maturer days. Tliat 
calm grace into wliioh she entered when budding 
into womanhood grew ever calmer and more gracious 
as she ripened in years. Beautifully did she prove 
it true in her own increasingly symmetric character 
that, — 

" Serene will be our dajs, and bright. 

And happy will our natures be, 

When love is an unerring light, 

And joy its own security." 

She had long since acquired in her own right the 
name of " Mother." Not as the wife of Father Taylor 
did she win the title. Many a rare man's wife is 
une femme convert, a fountain sealed, that is only re- 
vealed by the softness and thickness and greenness 
of the herbage under which it hides itself. His nature 
grows mellower, and she is its unknown cause. But 
Mrs. Taylor, besides doing that true and best office of 
a wife, besides being his " Moderation " and modula- 
tion, was also, by a special and separate grace, in- 
stalled as a queen in her own seat of equal power and 
love : king and queen, father and mother, they held 
joint sovereignty over their small but far-reaching 
realm. She had not his genius of conce]:)tion and 
expression, and, therefore, but for him, would have 
lived and died unheard ; yet, by her relations to him^ 
her own rare qualities became trained to a rare de- 
velopment. 

The journal she kept for the last ten years of her 
life showed how deep was her devotion to the com- 
mon cause that liad employed their common lives 
31 



370 FATHER TAYLOR. 

how fervent her piety, how confident her hope. Our 
space will allow but inconsiderable mention of these 
holy exercises. 

Attending the Methodist Annual Conference at 
Lynn in 1859, she stops at the house of a member of 
the society of the Friends, and hears Avis Keene, an 
aged Quakeress, preach a sermon that seemed to bear 
fruit unexpectedly in her own experience only two 
months after. Returning to their boarding-place, 
they found twenty or thirty Friends awaiting them ; 
and one of them modestly came to her and said, 
" Does not thy husband feel to say a few words to us ? 
Our eyes are particularly directed towards thy hus- 
band." He was so led, and their thus stirring up of the 
gift that was in him resulted favorably to them. She 
falls into their own style, as, in her saintty simplicity, 
she describes how her eyes were directed towards 
this " rara Avis " herself. She warms up Quaker calm 
with Methodist fire. The whole description, includ- 
ing the quaint Quaker language, and her ardent af- 
fection for dear old Boston, is worthy of Izaak Walton 
and more fervid saints. 



"April 12, 1853. — I had felt a strong drawing towards Avis Keene, 
iie Quaker preacher, for her purity of doctrine and the sweetness of her 
<pirit. We had no personal acquaintance ; but Monday, the 1 1 th, be- 
fore we left, she came in to take breakfast with us : we immediately f<;lt 
a kindred spirit, and that inseparably joined in heart the friends of Jesus 
are. We had but little time, as we were to leave in the eight-o'clock train 
for Boston. We said farewell ; and this dear, aged saint threw her arras 
around my neck, and said, ' Thee will be a living epistle ifi my heart.' 
This was very pleasing, as I love to be remembered by my friends. 

" I conclndod to wait after our conference friends had gone un(il the 



MOTHEE TAYLOR. 371 

next train of cars, to have a little more conversation with the dear 
friends to whom we had become much attached. I wanted particularly 
to see the mother of Mrs. Breed, — Mary Breed, who was in her eighty- 
seventh year, a very sweet, pure-looking old lady, who had attended 
church all the winter, except in the extremest weather. 

" Nathan Breed came in and said, ' Deborah, thee must not go home 
this morning : I want thee to ride with Avis Keene to-day.' It was a 
temptation : the air was balmy, there was excellent company, a beau- 
tiful carriage, and a pair of horses ; and to me it was a treat. 

" I went with Mrs. Bi-eed and her daughters to the Lynn Mineral 
Springs; then returned, and, with Avis Keene, rode over to Marble- 
head. I sat by the side of my dear friend, and received counsel from 
her lips. "Who would not love such a spirit? In the morning I felt I 
must return to Boston, — ' home, sweet home.' I can visit my friends, and 
enjoy their hospitalities ; but Boston is our own field of labor and rest, 
and I feel a freedom of soul as soon as I tread upon the soil, which be- 
longs to no other place. Blessed, blessed ! I envy not the great, nor wish 
for any other situation on earth. The God whom we serve has chosen 
our habitation for us. May we improve it to His glory ! Amen." 

She rejoices also in another assembly, and thus gets 
refreshed anniversary week in a prayer-meeting. 

" MonJciji Morning, May 23. — Attended prayer-meeting at the New 
North Unitarian Church. Names are only names : I weary of them. 
I cannot tell when I more sensibly realized the presence of the Saviour, 
The meeting wa? opened with ' God be merciful to mo a sinner.' The 
next who spoke broke the cloud and came into sunshine, — rejoiced that 
not only did the glorious earthly sun sliine in its splendor, but the Sun 
of.)i-ighteousness shone with healing in his beams, and diffused his bless- 
ing through the congregation. The speaking and" singing were in the 
spirit, and my own soul felt the blessed influence. I am glad others are 
going to heaven besides Methodists. I doubt whether there could ba 
any better doctrine than the Rev. Arthur Fuller gave us." 

Her visit to the Friends seems to set her heart at 
work after their fashion ; and she narrates how she 
preached her first, if not her last sermon. As many 



372 FATHER TAYLOR. 

still question a woman's right to plead with sinners 
in the great congregation, perhaps this incident, nar- 
rated by herself, may shed some light on these duties. 
If she could be so led of the Spirit, might not others 
be equally called to more frequent and more regular 
services ? 

"June 4, 1859. — An eventful day! Lord, help me to record thy 
mercy. A ship-of-war reached our Boston shore, and a number of her 
young men entered our house of worship. I was aiFected to tears again 
and again while I looked at them. Brother Barnes spoke from ' Fear 
the Lord ; for consider how great things he has done for you.' I wept 
and prayed for the young men. I felt almost agony of spirit. I knew 
their temptations : from home three or four years, believing all those 
friends who profess to be, they will be led into snares from which they 
cannot escape by those who want their hard earnings, and would ruin 
them. 

" They are not to be ' paid off ' until Friday : they must range our 
streets, and some will have spent every dollar before receiving it. My 
heart ran after their mothers, their wives and children. If the moth- 
er could only embrace a pure son after years of absence, what a com- 
fort' it would be to her troubled heart. But, oh ! to have them ruined 
in our city, after they have escaped the danger of the sea and the evil 
of foreign lands, before they have reached their own homes, led me to 
cry to God, that if possible the evil might be remedied. 

"Mr. Taylor followed the sermon with a powerful, melting exhorta- 
tion, — j ust what was needed ; and it was felt. Yet, strange to say, I was 
not satisfied : I wanted to speak to thera. I had never spoken on a 
Sunday in a church in Boston. I felt I mnst speak : no mother had ad- 
dressed these boys. If it had only been a meeting in the vestiy, on an 
evening occasion, the cross would not be so heavy ; but no, tliis was the 
time. ' Instant in season and out of season,' was the command ; and, say- 
ing 'I will,' I sent to the pulpit to ask if I could have five minutes. Ih 
was not quite twelve o'clock, and the morning service would not be pro- 
longed beyond the usual time. The work must be done. Mv Ims- 
band immediately announced it ; and, unexpectedly to all, I walked from 
my pew into the altar, and delivered my message. Strength wa^i given 
ine iu the time of need. I tremble as I^v^ite, while thinking of what I 



MOTHER TAYLOR. 37j 

was enabled to do. I first welcomed them to the house of God, after 
their long absence; spoke of the expectation of mothers, wives, and 
children, then of their own dangers ; begged thcra to fear God, in the 
words of the text, to love and obey him, and all would be well ; and 
then, turning to the congi'egation and church of men and women both, 
enforced their duties as the keepers of their brethren. I felt we each had 
iiwful responsibility, and no father or brother before me was to say, 
' Oh, never mind, these are only poor mau-of-war's men ! ' but remem- 
ber, you are your ' brother's keeper : ' take him by the hand, lead him to 
his boarding-house, persuade him to do right. He has a soul, a noble 
soul., to bo saved. May the Lord help us to do what we can, that the 
blood of their souls may not rest upon us ! ' 

" Truly, I am led in a way I know not. My dear daughter came 
home much mortified that her mother should make herself so public. I 
knew my child would feel it sensibly, . as I had never done it before. 
I told her it was not calculated upon. I might do so again ; I could 
not tell where I should have to go, or what I should have to do. My 
business was to obey ; and my daughter must submit to the judgments 
of others, and remember her father and mother must walk in the path 
of duty. 

" And now, my Father, if thou wilt call such a weak instrument to run 
on errands, I know thou vrllt not send me oh a warfare at my own ex- 
pense. Only let me feel that I am sent by thee, and it is honor enough : 
I will go at thy bidding. Help me to honor thee, in doing good to some 
of these poor wandering souls. I owe much to thee, my Father : tmly, 
I should fear thee ; for thou hast done great things for my soul. 

"Debora D. Taylok." 

She had to subscribe this with her own hand, as 
if a new baptism had come upon her. She felt as if 
slie might be called into more public service. She 
declares she could not tell but she might do it again. 
And this solemn sense of a new and higher call com- 
ing upon a lady sixty-three years old, of ripest char- 
acter, of sober manners, of discreet conversation, of 
fastidious conduct, shows, that it may be true for oth- 
ers, no less than for her, that they are compelled above 



374 FATHER TAYLOE. 

themselves to ' walk in the path of duty.' She was 
too old to follow out the feeling that secured these 
pledges; but she evidently recognized the possible 
work they might require, and, had she been of 
younger years, might have followed her revered 
friend, Avis Keene, into more public ministrations. 

While visiting at Marblehead the next August, 
among her kindred and the friends of her youth, she 
learned that her husband had been attacked with the 
cholera at the Vineyard Camp-Meeting. Hastening 
to meet him, she takes him, in a convalescent state, to 
their old friend, Henry Pigeon's, at Gloucester. They 
spend the sabbath reading Wesley's sermons, and 
Stevens's History of Methodism, Father Taylor say- 
ing, in complimenting the author of that history, 
" No man ever did Father Wesley justice before. Man 
of God, well done I " She grows more ardent, and 
writes, — 

" Well may we venerate the more than mortal saint, the founder of 
our denomination, and adore his God. Such faith, such labors; and such 
glorious results ! With what enthusiasm I have read and re-read, and 
thank the Lord for such holy men, and for a Stevens, raised up for this 
very purpose to do justice to these blessed men ! AH hail, God-honored 
Stevens ! " 

She gives an incident in the death of an old mem- 
'ber. Father Winslow, who, a few days before he died, 
said he should go on the 1st of September. 

" Thursday came, and lie asked what day it was ; and when his faith- 
ful, untiring wife answered, ' the first of September,' he said, ' 1 shall die 
to-day.' There was no apparent change : he continued with perfect com- 
posure for a few hours, and said, ' Keep my body until the sabbath day, 



MOTHER TAYLOR. 375 

and have it taken to the Bethel, where those whom I love and have wor- 
shipped with so long may look at me for the last time.' He praised 
the Lord aloud, that ho was going before Father Taylor, under whose 
labors he had been so often blessed. 

" Our aged memibers are dropping away : a Harlow, Jameson, But- 
ler, these all died in the faith, — the fruits of the Bethel, with many others. 
To God be all the glory! What joy 'when all the ship's compan- 
meet ! '" 

The next month she makes this minute of an event 
that was soon to occur frequently. 

"October. — "We miss Mr. Taylor in our social meetings. We have 
exeellent brethren, and Mi-. Taylor's ' assistant ' is one of the best of 
men ; yet we feel the want of him who has led us so long. True, wo 
cannot have him always, and the God whom we serve will take care of 
His cause. We are passing away : our Father can do without us. ' Sal- 
vation is of the Lord.' " 

They have a conversation on his biography ; in 
which he expresses the momentary feelings that come 
over every strong nature at such mortuary reflections, 
though with a flavor of his nature enriching the emo- 
tions : — 

" Octdber 17. — I said to my husband, ' There is a piece in the papers 
about your life, which I do not like. I wish we could have something 
worth reading, or something to counteract what is so often said, untrue. 
After you are gone, it will be desirable, for your children's sake.' His 
answer was, 'You know, my wife, I dislike memoirs. Let my naair die 
when I die. I am mortified in looking over my past life. How little I 
have done, especially these last nine or ten years ; and yet the public are 
telling about the great exploits ! - Bury me in a hole : I have done noth- 
mg to deserve mention. It is not the truth. The people in Boston have 
known me for fifty years. If that is not enough, they will never know 
more. Only one side is written in a memoir. Hide me, hide me, and 
let not my name become a reproach.' I can but honor my husband's 
feelings. May his last days be his best ! " 



376 FATHER TAYLOn. 

Her Lynn friends of last year come to Boston, antl 
have a profitable season : — 

"March 5, 1860, Monday Evening. — Ten 'Friends,' or ' Quakers,' 
from the good old town of Lynn, wished to come to Edward Taylor's 
meeting, — a thing very unusual for them, — and hear the sailors speak of 
the things of religion. One of their number was dear old Father Coffin, 
who, in his very early days, was a Methodist, afterwards a sailor, and 
then became a Quaker proaehor, and still is very much interested in the sea. 
lie is a saint. His spirit is full of sweetness, his words drop like honey, 
and his face is full of light from on high. To be in his atmosphere is 
to be blessed. We all have the same Jesus. 

" On this Monday evening our friends came and took tea with us, 
after which we went iuto the little vestry. Mr. Taylor was somewhat 
anxious, as a number of our leading members were sick. I felt none at 
all. I knew, if the Master was with us, all would be well ; and if not, 
we should have a dry time. Who would be there so feeble as I was ? 
I went full of trust, and was not disappointed. The feast was glorious, 
and we were fed with the bread of life. Our friends, not knomng our 
order, engaged to leave at nine o'clock, much to their sorrow. They 
were obliged to take the cars in the height and glory of our meeting : 
they said they took their bodies away, but left their souls behind. Our 
meeting was conducted in the usual order, — singing, praying, and talk- 
ing, as the Spirit gave utterance. All was peace and harmony, because 
Our Father presided at the feast." 

They go on ripening. Three years after, we find 
these words, showing how reluctantly Father Taylor 
resigned his command : — 

"April 1, 1863. — The Bethel has been Mr. Taylor's idol; and as 
long as he can walk from the house to the church, ho will be unwilling 
lo become ex-officio. He will claim and hold authority; and those with 
him must allow him to have it, until the powers that gave him the au- 
thority request him to relinquish it. 

" April 12. — Mr. Taylor preached in the afternoon. I wish he could 
be satisfied to talk to the people, and not attempt to study a sermon. 
That day is gone by for him." 



MOTHEK TAYLOR 37/ 

She writes thus of one of the best of men and 
mhiisters : — 

" Novemlier 15. — Three sabbaths we have had blessed Father Merrill, 
who has preached the gospel for more than forty years. A career of 
holiness ! Wo all love to hear Father Merrill : his name is a sweet sa- 
vor. His theme was, ' Praise to God for his wonderful mercies.' All 
ran understand, and he is sure to have the devout attention of the peo- 
ple. How the g'lories of he.aven loom up before him, as he puts his 
liands to.Mther, and lifts his eyes upwards, shouting ' Glory to God ! ' in 
the prospect of entering that happy place, to jjo no more out forever and 
forever! and then, coming back to earth from the visions of heaven, 
with his sweet spirit he invites the unconverted to come with him, and 
partake of the dainties provided for all who will receive them." 

She finds comfort in old age : — 

" Through the dear Unitarian friends, the Lord has abundantly pro- 
vided for us, what then we never asked or expected : our old age is pro- 
vided with every needed comfort, and it will be our own fault if we do 
not go down to the grave fully ripe for glory. I have but one desii-e, — 
to do the will of my heavenly Father, honor him in laboring for souls^ 
and hoping yet to see many of Ocean's children coming home to God." 

She gives her views on the ministerial work and 
calls preparative, but has in her tone a touch of age 
and querulousness, though it has thoughts that dcj- 
serve earnest consideration : — 

''March 19, 1866. ^ A brother, N. D. George, preached the word of 
lite and salvation. He is of the olden stamp. He prayed. What a day 
we live in, that the boys who come from college and know but little of 
Christian experience, are preferred to such fathers, who preach the gospel 
in its pui'ity, and understand the life of godliness ! degenerate race 1 
that know not what they are doing. Lord, have mercy upon us ! These 
young preachers need the old ones by their side. ' But such men are un 
educated.' What is education'! What does a man need in ordel 



378 FATHER TAYLOR. 

to preach the gospel, — to preach Jesus in his fulness, and willingness to 
saval To know the love of God by an experimental knowledge; to 
live Jesus every day; to love souls ; to labor to honor the Master in their 
salvation ; to have the power of the Holy Ghost, — that they may give 
as they receive, the word take effect, and souls be saved. I have no ob- 
jection to education. I admire a good piece of composition ; but I want 
it with the old-fa-shioned sword of the Spirit, that cuts as it goes, and 
makes the hearer feel the Lord is in it of a truth." 

She is rounding toward the port of heaven. Here 
are some of the last notes of her long and faithful 
voyage : — 

" 7'lie Close of the Year, 1866. — The Bethel has been peculiarly fa- 
vored in the conversion of the sons of the ocean. Others keep their spirit- 
ual children, and nurse them in their own church. We send them abroad 
in the tottering stops of their spiritual infancy, with the blessed word of 
the Master and the aid of the Spirit. With the prayers and advice 
of those who have been long in the way, they go forth to meet the 
storms of the sea and a tempting ' adversary ; ' but, as one good brother 
said, ' Satan is afraid of the sword of the Spirit, and will soon fly.' 
May the means used to commemorate the birth of our dying and risen 
Lord be abundantly blest, and^many of Ocean's children give their 
hearts to that blefeed Saviour who spilt his precious blood, that all might 
have life ! " 

" Mondaij Eocning, December 31. — A precious watch-night! Many 
of the seamen never attended one before. Some rose for prayers, and 
resolved to be on the Lord's side amid the temptations of life." 

" October 13, 1867. — Avis Keene left her earthly habitation at the 
advanced age of eighty-six. The acquaintance commenced in Lynn, 
during the session of the conference, and continued. My heart was 
united with hers in Christian sympathy, and the attachment was mutual. 
I loved hormuch, have always loved her, and have had sweet commun- 
ings with her, present and absent. When her only son came to say, 
' She had gone home,' I felt her present, and said, ' Blessed Sister Keene ! 
I feel she throws her mantle around me . we are not separated. No'- we 
will mingle our spirits, although not our voices ; we will commune to- 
gether, — she in her heavenly mansion, and I in my earthly home ; wa 
ifi'l not be separated. She loved me on earth. ' Say, oh, say! do they 



MOTHER TAYLOR. 379 

love tficre still ? ' Yes : if we are to see as we are seen , and know as we are 
known, we shall not forget each other. In the joys and sorrows of the 
present life, I love to think of those who have gone before, and have died 
in the Lord. Go, sainted sister, go ! I would not call yoa back. I 
will try to live sc as to meet beyond the river, to go no more out forever 
Lord, help me for Jesus' sake, to whom be glory and honor. Amen." 

She records their retirement from active work : — 

"January, 1868. — The second Tuesday in January, Mr. Taylor and 
myself were not present at the yearly meeting of the Boston Port and 
Seamen's Aid Society. Mr. Taylor had resigned liis labors to his young 
brother, who had been preaching for nearly two years. A melancholy 
pleasure ; yet we should be very gratefnl that we have been spared to 
labor over threescore and ten, and then allowed to resign under the 
most favorable circumstances. 

" As unworthy and as unfaithful as wo have been, we throw ourselves 
on the mercy of our heavenly Father, that he may forgive and accept. 

" Surely, goodness and mercy have followed us all the days of our 
lives, and we will dwell in the house of the Lord forever. Our employ- 
ers, under God, a large body of the Unitarians, have been friends and 
brothers to my husband and myself; and, after providing for him for 
nearly forty years, they passed the kindest resolutions, and unanimously 
voted to pay him his regular salary while life remains. 

" What shall wo render unto God for all his benefits ? Hero we are, 
in our own house, with all we need of earthly good to make us comforta- 
ble and happy. Mayour-last days be our most spiritual ones! May wo 
rest to grow in grace and our old age be as shining lights ! " 

She adds, that he still " labors iu the social meet- 
ings, his heart runs after the sons of the deep, and he 
is blessed in seeing many of them turn to the Lord." 

She notes a sabbath birthday iu old age : — 

"March 15, 1868. — This is my seventy-third birthday. I attended 
the house of prayer the first time for six weeks. ' How amiable are thy 
taberaacles, O Lord of hosts!' Rev. Brother Upham, of Hanovei 
Street, exchanged with Brother Noyes. I Peter x. i. 8 : ' Whom hav 



380 FATHER TAYLOB. 

ing not seen ye love ; in whom, though now ye see him not, yet belicvin,!! 
ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory.' Oh, precious gospel ' 
First, theology ; second, the creed, — believe on the Lord Jesus Christ , 
third, experience. We were fed with the bread of heaven. I have never 
asked the good things of this life for my dear ones : I have only asked 
that they may be all the Lord's, in time and in eternity." 

The death-blow is struck which in a few months 
completes its work, and translates her soul to the 
paradise of God ; and she calmly notes the inevitable 
stroke : — 

" November, 1868. — Three long months I have been mostly confined to 
my. room. Spasms of the lungs and a touch of paralysis I have had. 
I was fully sensible, but said, ' O Lord ! not my will, but thine, be done.' 
September and October my speech was altered, and my right hand was 
nearly useless. I thought I should soon be taken home. My dear chil- 
dren were alarmed, and feared I was about to go to my rest ; but hither- 
to the Lord has helped me. I am really better, and ieel I shall again 
be able to warn the sons of the sea to come homo to God. Precious 
privilege ! Help me, my Father, to improve life or death. 

" Thanksgiving Day. — Fifty-nine years since my sins were forgiven. 
Happy day ! 

* The gladness of that happy day, 
Oh, may it ever, ever stay I 
Not let my faith forsake its hold, 
Kor hope decline, nor love grow cold.* 

Glory to God in the highest ! " 

Only five records more follow the one of Thanks- 
giving, 1868. The last is : — 

' January, ism. — I am oppressed :' O Lord ! undertake for me.' Are 
not the requirements of our heavenly Father what they were from the 
beginning ? How often is the Saviour wounded in the house of His 
friends ! Lord, pity me ! My heart is pained, nor cares to be at rest, 
till it finds rest in Thee. How many of those who profess to love The* 



MOTHEE TAYLOR. 381 

;ver think that they must come out from the world, and be separate, if 
they would be Thy disciples ? Those who profess great things think 
that the theatre, the ball-room, and almost any place of amusemeni, 
consistent, if only they attend the house of prayer, and by words rec- 
ommend religion. ' Come out from the world, and be separate,' does 
not seem to enter their thoughts. Poor souls ! they deceive themselves. 
Lord, have mercy ! " 



The time was near that Christiana must leave her 
rilgrim companion, and cross over. She might have 
preferred to have seen him safely out of the wreck 
before taking to the boat herself. Her even-balanced 
nature would have steadied his trembling nerves. 
Her equal-throbbing faith would have borne him aloft 
on its calm wings. But it was not so to be. Perhaps 
the blessed Saviour, who hath the keys of death 
and the grave, who alone openeth and no man shut- 
teth, and shutteth and no man openeth, through 
whom alone we triumph over both death and the 
grave with the faith and life that, are immortal, — 
He may have withdrawn her from her earthly 
protection, that she might from the spirit-land 
assist his passage. That gracious soul, " a little 
while withdrawn, waits on the confines of a nobler 
shore." 

The four weeks that closed her life also crowned 
it. Such a Puritan was she, that she knew no shadow 
of turning ; and while it was yet day, she worked, — ' 
worked through the long twilight into the late even- 
insr. When the last attack of illness came, she 
who lived so near the life beyond knew the messen- 
ger who came, and was not surprised nor disturbed. 



382 FATHER TAYLOR. 

She sent at once for a daughter, gave her wishes in 
regard to all business matters, even to the distribu- 
tion, when the home should be broken up, and 
then said quietly, " M3' dear, you will have no display : 
put a white thibet dress on me ; I want nothing 
Ijetter than my poor can have." The daughter an- 
svvered, " Mother, we would like to see you in black 
silk, with the lace about your neck, as you have al- 
ways worn ; " and again she said, " You know my 
wishes: I want nothing better than my poor will 
have ? " Attending, then, to a like coming but not 
immediate necessity of her husband, after a few 
moments she added, " Let your father wear a white 
mourning robe, turn his face upon one side, and tuck 
his hand under his cheek, as he always went to 
sleep." From that hour she laid off the armor of 
work, and gave herself to her familj'. 

To those who were privileged to be with her the 
most, the remembrance of the twenty-nine days in 
that border room garners np. the blessedness of all 
the years that had passed, and gives a foretaste of 
the certainty of the love and delight of the home 
in our " Father's house of many mansions." That 
month was a fearful struggle : not one mouthful of 
food passed her lips. It was death — death of the 
body — all the way, but the spirit was triumphant. 
She would have short intervals of sleeping ; and, when 
she awoke, it was always to say something which 
proved that she had been away resting in her spirit's 
home. Once it was, " I have been all day with my 
heavenly Father, and I think he will take me homo 



MOTHER TAYLOR. 383 

to-night. Again, " I have been visiting my raothei 
and sister Martha," both of whom had died forty 
years before. And another time it was to tell of see- 
ing beautiful flowers, and hearing sweet music. 

Sunday, May 30, was a marked day above the 
others. Her son came in from the morning service 
at the church, to find his mother sleeping ; and he 
whispered to a sister, " Tell mother, when she awakes, 
that Mr. Noyes prayed beautifully for her this morn- 
ing." When this was repeated to her, she quietly said, 
" I know it." This was a matter of great surprise to the 
daughter, who knew how grateful and appreciative her 
mother was for any remembrance or attention, and who 
expected of course to have ' thanks ' to return. After 
a few moments of resting, from out of the same quiet 
she said, " Ask Ned to tell Mr. Noyes, that, while he 
was praying this morning, I saw beautiful flowers." 
" Did you see them, mother, or'were they brought to 
you ? " Then her face was as the face of an angel, 
as she answered, " Why, my dear, I saw them. I 
went to the spirit-land ; and, oh ! they Avere beautiful, 
so beautiful ! " — " Well, dear mother, you will soon 
have all the flowers you want." — " Yes, my darling, 
my heavenly Father will give me every thing." 

Three weeks after this, the day before her final 
services, the message was repeated to Mr. Noyes, fear- 
ing it might not have reached him with its full signifi- 
cance. . . . He sat with folded arms and bowed head 
during the recital, then made this reply : " I was never 
as drawn out in prayer in my life before ; and, feeling 
nothing could be too good or too much to ask for 
Mother Taylor, I asked for the flowers." 



384 FATHER TAYLOR. 

May we not believe that the Divine Comforter, 
who is the Holy Ghost, the Illuminator, granted this 
beloved child a glimpse of the banks of the river of 
the water of life and the flowers that fill it with im- 
mortal beauty? If "heaven lies about us in our 
infancy," much more does it when coming up to the 
very gates of the golden city, and when already 'at 
the borders of the land which is not now, if before 
time, very far off. 

After a while she asked, "Where is father?" — 
"He is downstairs: shall we call him?" She said, 
" No ; bid him good-by for me." Again she was 
asked, " Shall we send for him ? " — " No : too excit- 
ing," was her reply. Her poor husband, in his shat- 
tered physical condition, could not be controlled by 
the Spirit which was in itself strong ; but, with a cog- 
wheel broken here and a spring loosened there, the 
machinery was out of good working order : and, when 
he entered her chamber, it was to give way to moans 
and tears ; and a wife's love would spare him. 

After another season of resting, she said to a 
daughter sitting by her, " Talk to me of the beautiful 
land ; " and then, in a few moments, in a voice 
soft, sweet, and clear, she sang twice over that 
favorite refrain, — 

"Oil, tlie beautiful land 1 oh, tlie beautiful land 1 " 

A few hours later, she opened her eyes to see her 
husband entering the room. She beckoned him to 
her, put her hand into his, drew him down to kiss 
him, saying, " Good-by, my dear! Be satisfied with 



MOTHER TAYLOR. 385 

yourself ! Honor God, and remember you live to 
save souls, my dear husband." The ruling passion 
of her girl-life in Saugus and Marblehead, of all 
her faithful life on the circuit and in the city, was 
still at its full strength, — save souls. 

Then followed some five minutes of rest and 
silence, when, putting her hand in his once again, 
slie said, " Good-by, my darling." From that hour 
a quiet " Good-night" was all she ever said to him ; 
and this she said .each time^she saw him. Her work 
was done, and she knew no repetition. 

One day a messeftger came from one who had long 
loved her, Mrs. Alexander, the artist's wife, bearing 
a large basket of exquisite greenhouse flowers. They 
were brought into the chamber ; and she feasted her 
e^^es upon them for just a moment, when she said, 
" (rive my love to dear Mrs. Alexander, and thank 
her : tell her I cannot enjoy her flowers now, but I 
am going to the beautiful land of flowers, where the 
inhabitant shall not say I am sick." 

Her beauty of face and expression in these hours 
was far beyond telling. Those who saw it then will 
see it yet again when their mortal has put on immor- 
tahty. The mother's eye rested upon a child to call 
some pet name. The slightest act of attention was 
rewarded by " Thank you, my darling ; " or " Kiss 
your mother, my precious one," always spoken with 
a smile, and in tones as if the garnered tenderness of 
Mtj years of motherhood was given then. Not a tear 
was allowed to be seen in that sacred chamber. The 
children gave themselves to the hoUnoss of the Iiour. 
2.) 



386 FATHER TAYLOR. 

and to the worship of their angel mother. To look 
upon her was a sacrament. In her moments of rest- 
fulness, and when the agony came, love did not strive 
or desire to hold her. 

A grandson came in, one noon, and entered the 
chamljer just as his grandmother opened her eyes 
from sleeping. The fever of dissolution gave the 
Hush of high health to cheek and lip ; her face yfa,s 
fair and unwrinkled as girlhood ; her hair of silver 
and dark, in long ringlets, was thrown up over the 
pillow ; and the surprise, delight, and admiration 
found no word of expression, until the young man, 
having left the room, turned, saying to his own 
mother, "Mother, did you ever see any thing as 
beautiful as grandmother ? " 

Not a murmur escaped her during all her mortal 
agony, which was fearful. The burning, consuming 
heat, which never left her night or day, made the 
demand for constant bathing with cold water. She 
could not drink it, because it caused violent coughing ; 
but at one time, with a fulness of meaning and 
grateful expression which no written word can give, 
she said, " My Father is leading me to living fount- 
ains." At another time, with her face hghted in joy 
and thanksgiving, she said, " The Purchaser of all 
this had not where to lay His head, and only see the 
comforts I have." 

One day a daughter said, " Mother, William Brid- 
gett," a dearly loved sailor-boy of Mrs. Ta}'lor, 
" asked me if you had kept a journal of your religious 
experience, as he would give more for it than for any 



MOTHER TAYLOR. 387 

thing elseiu the world." With a smile she answered, 
" Like a good many others, I have left it to finish up 
when I had a clear time : you will find something, my 
dear, and you will prepare it for me. If I have 
honored my Master in my life, it is all I ask." 

Often she was heard saying very softly and ear- 
nestly, " Let me. Let me, Let me ; " and when one 
said, " What is it, mother ? " she always finished the 
line, — 

" Let me to Thy bosom fly." 

On the evening of Saturday, June 23, 1869, at the 
age of seventy-four, Mrs. Taylor was released from 
her earthly house, and entered into the home pre- 
pared for her from the foundation of the world, and 
which the deeds of her own life had so richly fur- 
nished through the blood of the divine Redeemer, to 
her, as here, the Chief among ten thousand, and 
the One altogether lovely. On the door-posts of that 
mansion could have been justly written, " Well done, 
good and faithful servant, enter thou into the joy of 
thy Lord ; " for she, if any one ever did, honored her 
Master in her life. 

Her funeral was attended the Wednesday follow- 
ing, June 23, by Rev. Messrs. Waterston, Merrill, 
McDonald, and Noyes. Rev. Mr. Noyes offered a 
tender prayer. Rev. Dr. Waterston portrayed her 
character, industry, and ability in just terms. He 
said, — 

" She had great knowledge of the Scripture, and was familiar with 
its language. Never have I heard any one quote its sublime and touch- 



388 FATHER TAYLOR. 

hig passages with more marked effect. Her melodious and impressive 
voice seemed to impart added richness to the phraseology of prophets 
and apostles ; while often there was a felicity in her adaptation of serip_- 
tm-al language wliich made it come to the mind as a happy surprise. . . . 

"She was waiting, ready to go, yet not impatient, — waiting, and . 
ready, in the Lord's good time. Ay, and more; for, wliile she lingered, 
her mind often, in intervals of pain, communed with the friends who 
liad gone. As the angels were seen in the patriarch's dream ascending 
and descending, even so her mind ascended and descended from earth 
to heaven, and from heaven to earth. ' All day,' she would say, ' I have 
been in the everlasting gardens, enjoying the companionship of the bles.scd. 
We have been holding most pleasant intercourse together.' And lici 
face would kindle with angelic joy. Even so, in the unclouded glory of 
a perfect Christian faith, she has passed away. 

• Come and see her dying-bed 1 
Calm her latest moments roll: 
Angels hover round her head; 
Heaven receives her soul.* 

" Shall we not feel, as we gather around this precious form, and look. 
for the last time upon tliis countenance, that the expression of peace here 
portrayed is a type of the divine peace she now enjoys in heaven, where, 
with evangelists and prophets, she stands in the Redeemer's presence, to 
behold ever higher and brighter revelations of the supreme Wisdom 
and Love 1 " 

Rev. Mr. McDonald dwelt on her beautiful life as 
a result of a living faith in the atonement of our 
Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, and very tenderly 
addressed -the family, urging them to lay up a like 
foundation for a glorious immortality. 

The venerable Father Merrill paid a glorious tribute 
to this " elect lady," rejoiced over the new triumph 
of our holy religion, and closed with fervent prayer. 

Rev. Mr. Noyes preached a sermon on the appro- 
priate text, " For me to live is Christ, .and to die is 
gain." Of no one of his myriad disciples was tliis 



MOTHEE TAYLOK. 389. 

truth truer. He spoke of ' her early and permanent 
choice. Having chosen Christ and Hved Clirist, she 
goes to Christ as the only heaven of love and bliss 
revealed to human hearts, and shining down upon us 
above tlie crossing of death. Happily does he present 
and enforce the lessons of this heart s life of Mother 
Taylor : — 

" She had followed the Lamb ; and where does He lead such but t<> 
'.'le bosom of the Father, as the ' redeemed from among men, as first- 
fruits to God and the Lamb ' f She had been ' faithful unto death ; ' and 
what next but the ' crown of life ' should she receive 1 ' Has she not a 
right to be crowned "! ' significantly asked the venerable Father Menill 
on the occasion of her funeral obsequies. ' Most certainly,' all hearts 
responded ; and none will question that for her to die was gain. To her, 
death meant rest from labor, care, and pain ; and she longed to find it. ' 
'Was this weakness V St. Paul was similarly exercised, 'having a de- 
sire to depart, and bo with Christ, which is far better.' 

" It was her one prayer. The great life-struggle triumphantly ended ; 
the life-race successftdly accomplished ; the head-lands, harbor, shores of 
glory in ftill view, — who wouldn't shake out every reef, give to the breeze 
every bit of canvas, and have all in readiness to let go the anchor, and 
be forever at rest ? But death to her meant more than this even : it 
meant the society she craved. There she finds her peers : patriarchs, 
prophets, apostles, and martyrs, saintly and sainted, welcome her to 
' everlasting gardens, where angels walk, and seraphs are the wardens.' 
' Kings and priests xinto God ' are her company, in full fellowship with 
whom she finds the satisfaction earth could not afford her. 

*• ■ They stand, tliose halls of Xion, 

Conjubilant with song. 
And bright with many an angel 

And many a martyr-throng. 
The Prince is ever in them ; 

The light is aye serene; 
The pastures of flie blessed 

Are decked with glorious sheen. 
There is' tlie, throne of David ; 
- • And there, from»toil released. 

The shout of them that triumph, 

The song of them that fi'int." 



390 FATHER TAYLOR. 

" We have also the same divine grace which secured to Mother Tay- 
lor's eartlily career so much glory. Was she firm, dauntless, faithful 
unto death ? We may be like her ; for her God is our God, her Saviour 
Duv Saviour, her divine Comforter our Comforter. She gave heed to 
the divine injunction, ' Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old 
paths, vfhere is the good way, and walk therein ; ' and thus she found 
' rest.' In like manner may we find rest ! The old way sufficed for her, 
as the heaven she sought was the patriarchs', prophets', and apostles' 
heaven. Faith in the Lamb of God as her atoning sacrifice was the 
foundation of her hope ; and well did she build." 

Thus passed away one of the best lovers of the 
Lord Jesus Christ that He has had on earth. She ac- 
cepted Him in childhood, hidden from the world's 
proud eye, among His poor, obscure, and opposed 
brethren. She had served and loved Him with a de- 
votion that many waters could not quench, nor floods 
drown. She walks the valley and the shadow of 
death, and sees it is but a shadow without substance, 
— a shadow shot through with celestial light. She has 
lived in Christ, she dies in Christ, she dwells in 
Clirist forever. 

In Mount Hope Cemetery her "flesh rests in hope," 
under a warm covering of running-myrtle, while over 
it a simple headstone, upon which a bunch of ivy and 
forget-me-nots is carved, bears this inscription : — 

'"MOTHER TAYLOR' 

went home 

June 19, 1869, 

Aged 7-J." 



XXI. 



TO THE HARBOR. 



Growing Old. — Not in his Real Nature. — He ministers to the Ministers.'- 
A Poor Vine. — Tries to put down a Preacher, and does not succeed. — 
" What will become of my Childrcfi ? " — " Not dead yet." — Hetires from 
the Quarter-Deck. — Does not know Bishop Janes. — His Politeness at his 
Wife's Funeral. — His House Companions. — His Retort Uncourteous in a 
'^ Blessing." — Where Heaven is. — " Angels are Folks." — '' I'll stay while 
there's a Bit left." — Willing to forgive those he offends. — Defence of 
Orthodoxy Ills chief Anodyne. — " No getting Unsound Mixtures down his 
Throat."^— His Favorite Hymn. — " Some Summer Moruing snatch me to 
Thyself." — A Hard Dose. — Penitence "only in Spots." — Limits the 
Atonement after his own Fashion. — " God never wants one to tumble 
and sprawl in his Sins." — " Poor Humanity Numb." — In the Slough of 
Despond. — Delivered by Prayer, and leaps as far the other Way. — Hard 
to put to Bed. — Harder to keep there. — Smooth Sinning. — His Last 
P.arade. — Preaches to Himself. — " Don't know enough to be saved." — His 
Latest Breath for Christ. — Known Jesus. — " Precious." " Certainly."- 
H is Last Conscious Act Characteristic. — Going out with the Tide. — Makes 
the Harbor. 

WE have cruised with our captain over many 
waters. We have seen him in storm and calm, 
ill wandering youth, glowing manhood, revered, be- 
loved age. Like all things mortal, he must fade as a 
leaf, and all his power consume away like the moth. 
" Thou turnest man to destruction, and sayest, Re- 
turn, ye children of men." No matter how wide he 
sails, he must ever come to this port. 

391 



392 FATHER TAYLOR, 

" Earth laughs in flowers to see her boastful boys 
Earth-proud, proud of the earth which is not theirs ; 
Who steer the plough, but cannot steer their feet 
Clear of the grave ! " 

The order " Return to the dust out oi which thou 
art taken " fell on Father Taylor many years before 
it was accomplished. Not less than ten years was 
his leaf in Avithering. Journeys and other reliefs de- 
layed its fall ; but it gradually ripened, despite all at- 
tempts to prevent it, and its autumn richness of color 
betokened its decay. He had many helpers in his 
pulpit, and one or two colleagues, before he consented 
to abandon the quarter-deck: even then he would 
play captain to these captains, and, sitting in his pul- 
pit, nod defiance or approval, or, if his dislike rose 
still higher, would tell the congregation in plain 
terms not to mind the words they had heard. Some 
of these interruptions are more amusing to read than 
they were to hear, especially by those who were their 
victims. Thus, as a venerable and especially beloved 
friend, \^ ho relieved the vacant hours of a superannu- 
ated ministry with the cultivation of grapes, an- 
nounced as his text, " I am the true vine," and began 
by saying, " There are some vines that will not bear 
good grapes," " That's so ! " breaks in Father Tay- 
lor : " you sold me one of that sort." 

A young minister, Rev. M. M. Parkhurst, relates, 
that, preaching for him on the text, " He that believ- 
eth, and is baptized, shall be saved, and he that be- 
lieveth not shall be damned," in order to catch the 
most sceptiqal fish, who run out the longest lines, he 



TO THE HAEBOE. 395 

granted the fact that a man's belief was all that was 
necessary to his salvation. The old man, surmising 
that the boy was going to leave out the essence 
of truth, and make any belief salvable, shook 
his' head, fist, and cane at the preacher ; and, as he 
went on developing this thought, he wriggled, 
frowned, and at last shouted forth, " Sit down ! Sit 
down ! " — " No," said the self-composed youth, " I'm 
skipper of this craft now." He then changed his 
tactics, and showed, that, under this very law, only a 
1 ight belief produced a right character, and that faith 
in Christ is an absolute necessity to true spiritual 
life. The quick eye behind him saw that he was off 
the breakers, and 

" Out to sea the streamers flew ; " 

and he shouted, " Open sea ! Up sail and on ! " 

To the last he allowed no one, of his school at 
least, to utter any but the most orthodox truths to 
his congregation. One of his last sermons is thus 
described by Rev. Mr. McDonald. " It was from the 
text, ' Where is your faith ? ' He touched every 
chord of the human heart : now he denounces sin in 
the most awful manner, and then weeping over the 
sinner as tliough his heart would break. At one 
time he pictures the world of woe in colors so dark 
that one almost felt the blackness of darkness gath- 
ering around. And then the gates of heaven are 
thrown wide open, with angels and spirits of just 
men made perfect ; with golden streets, trees of life, 



394 rATHEE TAYLOR. 

crystal waters, harps and harpers, crowns, robes, and 
palms, in full view, until every heart was ready to 
sing, — 

' When shall I reach that happy place ? * 

but every thing broke down when he, with face bathed 
in tears, exclaimed, ' O God ! what will become of 
my children ? ' meaning sailors. ' My life has been 
spent with and for them. I have stood, in my boy- 
hood, with them at the guns, amidst blood and car- 
nage. My manhood has been devoted to their inter- 
ests and welfare. And now I am old, and must soon 
depart. O God ! preserve my children.' There was 
a general giving up to tears. 

" Here he changed his tone of voice, and expression 
of countenance, and exclaimed, ' I am not dead yet.' 
Then turning to me, -he said, 'You have heard that 
I was dead ; but I am not, nor do I expect to die 
soon. Just now I begin to feel young again. Glory 
to God ! I am able to fight a little longer." 

But this fighting was not much more than shoul- 
dering his crutch, and showing how his old fields 
were won. He was contented with saying, "I can 
do it," as Jupiter, in Lessing's fable, made him- 
self the superior marksman of Apollo by simply say- 
ing, " I could beat that if I had a mind to." The 
mind did not come to the Greek or Boston Jupiter, 
who had, in the latter case, been Apollo also. He de 
scended from his deck, and accepted fate. He con- 
fessed that 



TO THE HAEBOR. 395 

" It was time to be old, 
To take in sail : 
The god of bounds, 
Who sets to seas a shore, 
Came to him in his fated rounds, 
And said, ' No more I ' " 

He turned his vessel's prow towards the harbor of 
earth and time. He formally resigned the leadership 
in 1868, and retired from the front. Still he felt this 
resignation was not final nor complete ; and, whenever 
and wherever he pleased, he broke in upon the regu- 
lar governors with criticism and censure, and even 
orders, that showed he wrestled hard with himself in 
accepting, after so many years of sovereignty, the 
place of a subordinate. His memory broke up by 
degrees. Calling on him with Bishop Janes and Dr. 
Harris, about three years before his death, he greeted 
them, as was his wont, with a kiss of affection, as if 
he knew them perfectly. Saying to him, " We have 
brought the bishop to see you," " The bishop ! " says 
he, " Where's the bishop ? " And yet no one knew 
him better or loved him more than this reverend 
father in God. Being re-introduced, he of course 
went all through his salutation again, his kiss of love 
included. 

His wife's death, almost two years before his own, 
found him far in the realm of second childhood. He 
wandered up and down the house, a half ghost him- 
self, whether in the body or out of the body he could 
not often tell. He seemed hardly aware of the pain- 
ful event, and more like a child than a man he 
,,.,,-.0.1 +i,.,..„^i, ^;jjjg ga^(j experience. 



396 FATHER TAYLOK. 

At her funeral he was full of smiles and tears, bov/ 
ino-, weeping, rejoicing, altogether. On the ride to 
the grave he kept' up that politeness of manner 
which never deserted him, and bowed gracefully from 
his mourning coach to some poor Irishwomeh on the 
cuib-stone, not knowing them, and showing that he 
retained his courtesy after his consciousness had 
largely gone. 

The days of life grew shorter, darker, and storm- 
ier. He became almost as helpless as a babe, yet with 
an obstinacy, shrewdness, and wit that belonged to 
the ripest of men. Three of his daughters, Mrs. 
Brigham, Mrs. Russell, and Mrs. Barnes, were kind 
and attentive to all his wants ; but. the chief charge 
devolved upon his wife's niece. Miss Sarah Millett, and 
his old sailor friend, Capt. Bridgett. This gentleman 
was his constant companion for over a year and a 
half, caring for him by day and by night. It was- 
\ery proper that one of his " boys " should lead him 
down into the deep waters^ until he was received by 
the Master Boatman on the other shore. His niece 
accepted his reverse compliments with calmness, and 
licdped him quietly and kindly down the steep places 
of life, which he was stumbling over in his tottering 
steps. A great debt of gratitude is due to her assidu- 
ous care. It was to her, and of her, that he shot forth 
that unjust stroke of wit. He would never light the fire 
in his study with a match, but always persisted in the 
oldest fashion of carrying a shovelful of coals up three 



TO THE HAEBOK. 397 

pairs of stairs, when he wanted a fire. " Sally," as 
she was called, protested against this practice, as ex- 
ceedingly dangerous to himself and the house. But 
tlie more she protested, the more he would do it. 
And so he tottered up his stairs, day by day, with 
this shaking pan of live coals. At last she spoke 
to Mrs. Taylor ; and '-' the head of the house " had to 
obey its superior head, as so many husbands find is 
their fortunate fate. 

But he had his revenge on " Sally." Being seated 
at the table, he was glum and silent. After due 
pause, he is requested to ask the blessing? He 
refuses to speak, or to recognize the request. Again 
she asks, and again there is a sulky silence. Hunger 
at last getting the better of anger, on the tliird mild 
request, he breaks forth, " O Lord, save us from con- 
ceit, deceit, and tattling, amen ! " 

He thus evidently kept a good share of his brains 
about him, to the very verge of his dissolution, as 
another incident better illustrates. Rev. Mr. Water- 
ston, father of Rev. Dr. Waterston, met him about a 
year before he died, both very old. Father Taylor, 
in his usual ardent way, caught and embraced him, 
sa3ring, " I am as glad to see you as I should be to 
see StPaul ! " — " Ah ! " replied Mr. Waterston, " we 
must go to heaven if we would see St. Paul." — 
" Wherever," replied Father Taylor, with his grand- 
est emphasis of voice and manner, " wherever the 
truly good man is, there is Heaven.''^ Never was a 
better thought better spoken. 

Equally keen was his remark to a well meaning 



398 FATHER TAYLOK. 

sister who sought to console him in his decline by the 
stereotyped phrase, " There's sweet rest in heaven ! " 

" Go there if you want to," responds the tart old 
man. 

" But," persists the consoler, " think of the angels 
that will welcome you." 

" What do I want of the angels ? " he replies : " I 
pi'efer folks ; " and then, with rarest insight, he adds, 
" but angels are folksy 

He got the better of his fate through his faith, and 
did not sink down as that Englishman did, .who, 
lamenting on this last journey, that he must leave so 
lovely a paradise as England, was told, for his solace, 
that he was going to a better country. " Yes," he 
replies sadly ; " but it isn't England ! " 

Father Taylor's double-winged faith and reason 
conquered this sense of separation between angels 
and men, and reduced that foolishly painted, weak- 
faced, broad-winged, white-grained creature of fancy, 
to a bright-brained, warm-hearted child of God, and 
dweller in the heavens, full of " comeatableness," of 
dependence, of touches of weakness and winsome- 
ness. " Angels are folks " is the best picture of 
heaven ever painted. 

He fought hard for life. 

" How pleasant it must be," said a good woman, 
" for you to leave this worn-out tabernacle, and go to 
a better home ! " — " I'll stay while there's a bit leff ," 
is the stubborn reply ; and he kept his word. 

His chief companion, Capt. Bridgett, relates many 
interesting incidents connected with the breaking up 



TO THE UAEBOR. 399 

af this old ship of fourscore years. He knew all 
his humors. He had resisted him more than once to 
his face, because he was to be blamed. After the old 
gentleman had given him a tremendous overhauling, 
on one occasion, he saw he had done wrong, but con- 
fessed it after the usual manner of non-confession. 
Going across the square from the Bethel, Capt. Brid- 
gett offered him the keys. " But," says Father Tay- 
lor, " you are willing to be forgiven, ain't you ? If 
you are willing to be forgiven, I'll forgive you the 
whole of it. Take the keys home with you. I don't 
want them at my house." 

The last few months of his life he was exceedingly 
restless and nervous. No bed could hold him. He 
would wriggle himself out of the clothes and out of 
bed. He seemed to be squaring off against being 
driven out of existence, as Dickens says babies 
double up their tiny fists at their birth, as if squaring 
off against existence itself. " Wearisome nights were 
appointed unto him." Not so much suffering as un- 
controllable nervousness. His watcher sought to re- 
lieve this by getting him away from himself. He 
would advance heresies to set the old fighter again on 
his disputatious pins. Never could he get any consent 
to anything but the stiffest Methodistic orthodoxy 
from his lips. He would mix up quotations, right or • 
wiong, to bother his head, and take -him away from- 
himself ; but he would answer, " 'Tain't right. I don't 
know why. Can't get my cocoanut to it ; but it isn't 
right." If he should quote Wesley or Fletcher, he 
would instantly say, " That's it! " His old instinct 



400 FATHER TAYLOR 

nevfer failed him. As his companion says, "Asleep or 
awake, at no time of day or nighf could you get 
any unsound, mixed-up stviff down the old man's 
throat." 

He loved to hear lines of familiar hymns, and es- 
pecially delighted in that happy strain which he would 
dream over for hours in his studj' and in his cham- 
ber, — 

" Blest Jusus, atU it delicioii.'! fare ! 
How sweet thy entertainments^ are ! 
Never did angels taste above 
Redeeming grace and dying love." 

How full of old camp-meeting revivals, love-feasts, 
and other " chaste, holy, spiritual delights," were 
the memories that condensed themselves into such 
precious musings I Months before he died his 
attendant heard him, one morning, praying. He was 
pleading thus with God : " O Lord ! what am I here 
for? I am of no use to any one. The love of my 
friends for me will soon be gone : my love for them 
will soon be lost. I can't do any good. Now, Lord, 
some summer morning snatch me to thyself." This is a 
vein of fancy and familiarity more beautiful than i^he 
like phrase in Charles Lamb's " Hester," of which he 
had probably never heard, 

" My sprightly neighbor gone before 
To that unknown and silent shore, 
Shall we not meet, as heretofore, 
Some summer morning ? " 

Only Father Taylor's was a word to his Lord, and a 



TO THE HARBOK. 401 

word that was answered. Ere the summer came he 
was snatched away to heaven and home. 

He was a hard case to manage. A few nights before 
h,s death, Mr. Bridgett was going to give him some 
hydrate of ehlorial.- He refused to take it. When 
he refused, he refused. So Mr. B. was compelled to 
use gentle force, and he had to open his mouth, 
when down went the dose. Gasping out of his 
hands, his eyes full of fiery indignation, and his 
feeble fists doubling up, he exclaimed, " You rascal 1 
I had hopes of you all along ; but you'll be lost, I 
know you will." — "The Lord don't cast us off," 
meekly replied Brother Bridgett. He doubled up his 
fists again, and retorted, " Ah, that's the way thou- 
sands of such fellows lose their souls." Mr. Brid- 
gett, having secured his end, made due and humble 
confession for his sins. The old man heard his con- 
fession, raised himself up, and, half doubting his sin- 
cerity, said, "You rascal, if I thought you was hon- 
est I would take back every bit of it ; but I'm afraid 
it is only in spots." A reply fully equal to that, 
given by Peter Cartwright to an over-censorious and 
sensitive bishop, who, to rebuke his overflowing 
spirits, said very •solemnlj', " Brother Cartwright, 
are you growing in grace?" — "Yes, bishop, in 
spot's." 

Of like sort was his retort on his making some 
petulant remark to Mr. B., who said, " Well, you 
know you said Jesus died for all of us."^"No, I 
never said He died for you. Never ! " exclaimed the 
witty, wrathful old man, limiting the atonement in a 
26 



402 FATHEIt TAYLOR. 

manner totally foreign to his creed, but in accordance 
with his momentary impulse. 

Bridgett, defending a poor fellow who was always 
yielding to temptation on the score of his being boni 
so, Father Taylor indignantly denied, any such false 
teachings. " It's because he wanted to do it. God 
never wanted him to tumble and sprawl so in his 
sins." Thus to his last he clung to man's freedom as 
the only basis of his responsibility and of the love of 
God. 

Another night, he lay in bed and began to preach 
sermons. " O Lord ! " he mutters in a half-whisper, 
" where has poor humanity got to ? The pith and mar- 
row and power of the gospel don't reach poor human- 
ity. It's numb. If something can't be done for it, 
then I'm afraid they'll all be lost. How's that, 
brother ? " he cries out to his companion, still 
wanting the auditor's response to the last feeble 
flicker of his oratory. " It's numb," is one of the best 
descriptions of " poor humanity," and showed the 
flash was after the old sort in quality, though sadly 
less in quantity. 

One of these last nights he had fallen into a com- 
plaining mood. " Lord," he cries piteously, " here I 
am all alone ; no money, no friends, and in a strange 
place. What will become of me ? " — " O Father 
Taj lor! " interposes his companion, "you are in your 
own house." Said he, " I know better ; no such 
thing." Then Mr. B., who had often caught him 
with this guile, began to quote his favorites, Wes- 
ley, Fletcher, Webster, to get him away from himself; 



TO THE HARBOR. 403 

he saying, " That's good, that's clear ! Where did 
you get it ? " But now these all failed. He still sank 
in the Slough of Despond, which is as often near the 
Celestial as the Wicket Gate ; so Brother Bridgetfc 
began to pray the Lord " to have mercy on this poor 
backslidden Methodist preacher, who is ungrateful, 
fault-finding, and every thing else bad." The old 
man fired up in a minute at such a reflection on him- 
self, went at his friend with every, sort of biting 
epithet, piled on the fire and brimstone, and utterly 
forgot his own low state in this old-fashioned, half- 
earnest fury of his soul. 

The next night he was exceedingly neryous, and 
had to be put into his bed eight times in half an hour. 
After getting him in the eighth time, his nurse got on 
the outside to keep him in. " What are you doing 
here, sir '! " said he. " Haven't you got a bed of your 
own over there ? My liberties are curtailed. I won't 
stand it ! Go to your own bed, sir." He began to 
tell him a smooth story to quiet \*m. Up he came, 
and threw the bed-clothes over him, in his determina- 
tion to get on to the floor. Mr. Bridgett held his 
wrist loosely in his fingers to keep him down. As he 
was liolding him thus, the old man lifted himself up 
on his elbow, and said, " Do you know how smoothly 
5-ou are sinning?" — "No, sir: I a'n't sinning, 
father." — "Oh," said he, "you think the Devil 
don't know you are sinning ! but he does, and he'll 
find you out. Any sinner that can sin as smooth as 
you can, -the Devil is sure to get him." Mr. B. had 
to yield liim his bed ; but exhausted by his efforts, 



404 FATHER TAYLOR. 

and gnitified in his whims, he pronounced a benedic 
tion over his " smooth sinner," now a brother beloved, 
kissed him, and told him to go to sleep. 

The Sunday but one before he died, he dressed 
liimself in his full masonic regalia. He had often 
walked in the handsome dress of knight-templar, 
one of the handsomest in the procession. With his 
cap, plume, and sword, he fought the old battle for 
his beloved order over for the last time in that stately 
uniform. 

The most pathetic of these incidents, and most 
characteristic, as illustrating at once his ruling pas- 
sion in all its strength, occurred about ten days be- 
fore his death. Rambling across the room, as was 
his wont, he passed the glass. His eye caught the 
fijure of a tottering old man. He instantly stopped, 
turned, and made the aged stranger his very best bow, 
and began to preach to him. 

"My dear sir," said he, "you are old; you are 
infirm. But 'Christ will save you. Come now, my 
dear sir, come now ! He will, he will save you 
now." Exhausted by his talk and his long standing, 
he sank on the sofa, and lost sight of the figure. He 
called S;),lly to him. "Sally, come here. That old 
man don't know enough to be saved. He didn't stir 
a peg while I was talking to him." 

Two days after, passing along, he saw the old man 
again. He made a most exquisite bow, and renewed 
his exhortation. " It is a very late hour," he said, 
" but Jesus will save you. Make the venture." He 
sank down again, and calling Sally, said, " That old 



TO THE "HARBOR. 406 

man is an infidel. He won't have salvation at auy 
price." Mr. Biidgett, to see if he was in earnest, in 
a few minutes said, " Father Taylor, who is that old 
man about here?" He replied; "There is an old 
man about here ; but nobody knows who he is or 
where he comes from." So he fulfilled a request he 
had often said and sung, even to an image, and that 
an image of himself, — 

" H;ippy, if with my latest breath 
r may but gasp His name; 
Preach Him to all, and cry in death, 
Behold, behold the Lamb I " 

He is fast nearing the port. The last Sunday 
morning, ouly thirty-six hours before he drops 
anchor, after ho had been washed and dressed, he. 
appeared very weary. Mr. Bridgett told him he 
would get rested soon. " I don't know," he replies. 
" Oh, yes ! you will by- and by." — " No," says he, 
tired; "I don't know any thing." — "Don't you know 
Jesus ? " With his old smile, full of significance, 
lighting up his face, and his familiar punch in the 
ribs, he replies quick, wide awake as ever, " Yes, yes, 
yes I I know Jesus." — "Is he precious ? " With a 
look full of his old fire he whispers joyfully, " Why, 
certainly, certainly ! " 

This was his last word. Jesus he knew to the last, 
and Jesus was precious. What more could he say ? 
His life experience and life work were summed up iu 
this last articulate breath. J 

" On His breast he leaned his head, 
And breathed his life out sweetly there." 



40G FATITEn TAYLOR. 

He continued rustless, but not conscious, all da> 
and night, wriggling off his mattress, which, for 
several days, had been placed on the floor, because of 
this uncontrollable activity, — a hulk that still tossed 
on the waves, though lying so near the wharf of 
heaven. 

The next morning, his last, being again dressed 
and laid on his bed, he instantly hitched down the 
bed. Lifting him up gently, his attendant straight- 
ened him out, and placed him back on the pillow. 
Indignant at this interference with his liberty of 
action, he doubled up his fist in his old familiar 
way, aiid shook it smilingly at his nurse. 

This was his last conscious act. Down he went 
among the billows of death, and never lifted his head 
again above the waves. He lingered till nine min- 
utes past midnight, when the weary one was forever 
at rest. 

He had fulfilled his promise. He had not surren- 
dered while a bit of life remained. He had shown 
his strong traits of nature in his last deeds, his good- 
natured pugnacity, mirthfulness, and sportfulness. 
He had shown the higher traits of grace in his last 
trustful and joyful words. He could leave his quar- 
ter-deck, and go ashore in the heavenly port, and 
report to the Captain of his salvation, whom he had so 
long and so faithfully served. Never did a previous 
sailor rejoice more on making that blessed port. 
Never has one more passionately loved that city, 
country, and king. He has reached 

" The happy harbor of God's saints, 
The sweet and pleasant soil." 



TO THE HAEBOE. 407 

It was a noticeable event, to the sailors espe- 
cially, that the man they loved above all men should 
have gone out with the tide ; thus conforming 
unwittingly, in his death, to those very peculiarities ^ 
of his " boys " by the employment of which he had 
won so much of fame and love. 

It was just at the turn of the tide, in the dark of 
that midnight morning, April 6, 1871, that his 
spirit floated off "this bank and shoal of time," and 
made the happy harbor 'for which he had so long 
and faithfully sailed. 



XXII. 



THE BUKIAL. 



lis IX'alh a Surprise. — Lying in the Bethol. and visited by Large ITum- 
bQvA. — Koman Catliolic Children pray for the Repose of Ms Soul — Good 
Friday.— An Ocean Day. — Rev. Dr. Waterston's Remarks. — His Po.-^i- 
tiou. — **TIie Ocean of God's Love. — His Devotion to his Work. — "Carry 
not the Seed-Basket and tiickle to the Field together." — An Artist. — A 
I'oct. — A Wit. — A Man of Genius. — He was Jeremy Taylor, John 
Itunyan, Great Heart. — "• Would not wear a Chinese Shoe. " — '* Touches 
Starboard and Larboard." — His Greeting on t^e Other Shore. — Rev. Mark 
Trafton's Remarks. — No Mourning. — '-May you have Paul's Eyes." — 
Touch me not. — A Ship-of-War, — Feeding His Doves. — His Sermons 
published Everywhere. — His Study the Wharf. — A Curiosity Shop. — 
The Old Ship stranded. — The Orange-Seller. — His '• Long Home." 



FATHER TAYLOR had been so long decaying, 
that he had become largely withdrawn from the 
public eye. But, when it was announced that he was 
dead, a thrill of sadness shot through many hearts. 
His conference, in session at the time in the Winthrop- 
street Church, in Boston, adopted resolutions expres- 
sive of their feelings, and appointed one of their 
number to deliver a eulogy at their next session. 

His body was carried to the Bethel, and lay there 
two days, visited by many people, anxious to see the 
features to which death had restored the grand ■ ex- 
pression that had sometimes been missed during the 



THE BURIAL. 40[) 

hours of sickaess. Among others, little Roman 
Catholic children and young women, kneeling by 
the side of the coffin, prayed for the repose of the 
soul of tlie dead. One of the children being asked 
whj' she did this, answered that Father Taylor knew 
her, that he always spoke to her in tlie street, and 
that ill hiin she had lost a friend. • So, indeed, slie 
had, rind so liad all children, and all the poor. 

()n Good Friday the funeral was attended by large 
deputations of clergy, masons, odd fellows, sailors, 
managers of the Port Society, and other friends and 
admirers. It was a raw, rainy day, a breaking-up day, 
when Nature seems to sorely resist the beneficent 
change that is coming over her. Not that soft, drop- 
ping April day, when the warm, wet air is full of 
flowers in solution ; but the rude ocean air, dripping 
with salt sea-spray, that so often makes the spring 
the least lovely of the se9,sons. Yet it was not inappro- 
priate to have an ocean mist enshrouding this spot, 
where, as nowhere else in this or any land, for half 
a century, that ocean had been depicted in storm and 
calm, and those who went down upon it were plead 
with to escape from the temptations that swept over 
their souls greater than all storms of sky and sea. 
If Neptune ever could be properly personified, he 
should have been the chief mourner at that funeral. 

The first address was by Rev. Dr. Upham, the 
companion of his youth, who had travelled v/ith him 
on his first circuit, who had tried to teach him a trade, 
and had been taught by him that greatest of trades, 
the calling of men to repentance. He dwelt on his 



410 FATHER TAYLOR. 

early life, his circuits, his prayers, his gifts of persua 
sion, and his faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. 

The- Rev. R. C. Waterston then pronounced a very 
tender eulogy, in which he said, — 

"As the disciples, when separated from the Great Apostle wlioni 
they so much honored and loved, ' sorrowed most of all that th,ey should 
see his face no more,' even so do we sorrow, now that we are called to 
look for the last time upon a countenance which has been associated 
through many years with all goodness and Christian love. That pres- 
ence, how did it always impart a consciousness of strength ! The grasp 
of that extended hand, how many has it solaced and cheered ! That face, 
with its radiant smile, how often has it shed sunlight through depressed 
and sorrowing souls ! That voice, now silent forever, how, by its fervid 
eloquence, has it kindled multitudes by its power, or melted them by its 
pathos ! 

" The very mention of the ocean kindled his enthusiasm. The sound 
of the sea was like melody to his ear, and the murmur of its waves 
seemed ever around him. He looked upon every sailor with paternal 
love. Sea-faring men, wherever he went, were always the objects of his 
tliought and care. Was temptation around their pathway, he would 
shield them. Were they in sorrow or trouble, he would comfort them. 
Wei-e they vrithout a home, he would ffnd for them a shelter. What 
sacrifice would he not make for their elevation ? What effort could bo 
too great to promote their welfare ? 

" It is the privilege of an hour like this to recall the precious mem- 
ories of the past. My mind goes back more than forty years. I remem- 
ber first hearing him in a little simple edifice, where at that time he 
preached. The quaint and unpretending building was situated down 
among the shipping, in a narrow lane then known' as ' Methodist Alley.' 

" As I entered the diminutive church, I fbund that every comer was 
packed, yet still the crowd came flocking in. At length each standing- 
place w.<i,s occupied, the aisles even to the door, and the pulpit stairs to 
the very top. All had a nautical look. There was a strange inter- 
mingling of blue and red shirts, with faces bronzed and weather-beaten 
by ocean storms. When the preacher .stretched forth his arms inviting 
all to unite in devotion, it seemed as if he would take the whole congre- 
gation in his affectionate embrace, and lift them upward to the Hearer 
of prayer. 



THE BURIAL. 411 

"In his earnest pleadings, his sympathetic voice trembled, and tears 
moistened his cheeks. His discourse was full of beauty and power. The 
most striking originality was united to an eloquence unsurpassed. His 
descriptions were so graphic, that what was portrayed stood before the 
mind as in bodily form. At times, there was an almost feminine ten- 
derness, and then a masculine strength, which swept all before it like a 
mountain torrent. The audience were rapt in breathless attention. 
Now and then sobs might be heard. Meii who could stand unmoved 
ainid the tempest were melted here. It was evident that every hearer 
was firmly held in the preacher's grasp. I remember well, now that 
nearly half a ceutui-y has gone by, one passage in which he besought 
his hearers not to cling to the world. ' Why will you hiig so tena- 
ciously the rocky shore, where there is pei-petual danger from breakers 
and quicksands ? With sail full-spread, push bravely out into the deep 
ocean of God's love.' 

" Emphasized by his expressive voice and manner, this was a wonder- 
ful passage, profound in its depth of feeling and true spirituality, filling 
the mind with a consciousness of the absolute infinitude of divine 
love. 

" Thus did he labor for years, zealously promoting the best interests 
of seamen ; breaking up, as far as was in his power, those haunts of evil 
which decoy them to their ruin, sun-ounding them with elevating influ- 
ences. Intrepid and fearless, in the midst of threats and opposition, 
. courage never forsook him. To do his Master's work faithfully was his 
fixed determination, and in doing this he sought no outside reputation. 
His discourses in that little out-of-the-way chapel were as remarkable as 
those which awakened wider attention in after years. I have sometimes 
thought those were the very best sermons I ever heard from him. 

"The new Bethel was dedicated 1833. It was my privilege to be 
chosen the first superintendent of the first Sunday-school here estab- 
lished. This important oflSce I filled for five years ; not only having 
charge of the school, into wliich the children of the seamen were gath- 
ered, but having also a separate religious service for the young, adapted 
to their wants. These duties brought me into long and intimate inter- 
course with Father Taylor. During this time I had ample opportunity 
of witnessing his devotedness to his great work. 

" He lived like an apostle consecrated of Heaven to this high vocation. 
Tjaborious to the last degree, sparing himself in nothing, yet always 
ttosh and genial in his feelings, and habitually making remarks worthy 



412 FATHER TAYLOE. 

lo be treasured through life for their originality and wisdom. Often do 
I think of his friendly counsel as I entered upon my work full of hope 
and expectation. ' Carry not,' he said, ' the seed-basket and the sioklo 
into the field together.' Do not anticipate too great results at once. 
Give the seed time to germinate. Spring and harvest cannot be crowded 
into one. Protect the bud from blight ; the fruit will follow in God's 
good time. How beautifully was nil this expressed in that one sen- 
tence, ' CaiTy not into the field together the seed-basket and the sickle ! ' 

" Such was his style of conrersation, and such his manner of preach- 
ing. His mind was full of imagery. Types, figures, and symbols came 
to him with proliao prodigality. There was a newness and richness in 
all lie said. His remarks were a constant surprise. An auroral light 
played around his words. To him it was no effort to speak in simili- 
tudes and parables. There was a tropical luxuriance- in the develop- 
ment of liis thoughts. 

" Ho was an artist, needing neither marble nor canvas : he painted 
with words. Wliile he preached, the ocean rolled and sparkled, the ship 
spread her sails, the tempest lowered, the forked lightnings blazed, the 
vessel struck, her disjointed timbers floated upon the waves. It was 
all pictured to the eye as positive reality. You could hardly believe 
afterwards you had- not actually witnessed the scene. 

" He was a poet, even as the psalmists and the prophets were poets. 
The very soul of beauty lived in his thought. His expressions had at 
times an exquisite delicacy, and the felicity of his language was often 
very extraordinary. 

" Ho was a man of penetrating insight, of quick and clear perception, 
of a strong reasoning faculty. 

" He was unquestionably a man of genius, of marked originality, of 
spontaneous and creative energy. There was an individuality about 
whatever.ho did. He was in all things himself and not any one else. I 
am sure all who hear me would testify that in this community, and in 
this generation of living men, there has been but one Father Taylor. 

" In several important particulars he resembled that great English 
divine, Jeremy Taylor. They had very many characteristics in com- 
hion. The same abounding fancy and brilliant imagination. Similar 
acutenoss of thought and quaint originality, united to a like fervent 
glow and natural eloquence. AVhat the one found in books, the other 
found in life and in Nature. Our Father Taylor quoted no Hebrew or 
Greek; but ho gave in the place of them what his eye had seen and his 
beart bad felt. The pure gold coined from the mint of his own nature. 



THE BaniAL. dl3 

"But beyond all intellectual power was his ready sympathy, his 
oroad catholicity, liis unfailing love. As he might be called in vor^ 
truth the John Bunyan of the pulpit, so he was himself the ' Mr. 
Great Heart,' of the ' Pilgrim's Progress.' 

" There was through his whole nature the most generous liberality of 
thought and feeling ; firmly established in his own religious opinions, ho 
was ready to grant the right of private judgment to others. He claimed 
no monopoly iu Christian truth. He ' would not wear,' as he said, ' a 
straight jacket,' or 'Chinese shoes!' By education and conviction a 
Methodist, ho was still more a Christian. No sect could put limits to 
his far-reaching affections. He was positive without narrowness, and 
zealous without bigotry. No element of cant mingled with any thing 
he said or did. 

" Can any person wonder that snch a man was attractive, and that his 
diicourse should be electric 1 Is it any matter of surprise that men of the 
highest position and the rarest gifts gladly gathered around him, listen- 
ing t6 his words with delight "i Here in this church, where the poorest 
ever found a welcome, and where seamen from every clime were made to 
feel at home, here the most illustrious scholars, the most distinguished 
statesmen, the niost eminent citizens, came. Strangers visiting the city 
from distant parts of the country, or from lands beyond the ocean, felt 
they had not seen the best thing to be found here, till they had seen and 
heard Father Taylor. 

" But however eminent the strangers who came might be, they must 
bo contented with side seats. The sailors must have the best places 
before the pulpit and through the body of the house. On one occasion, 
in denouncing luxury and vanity, he said, ' I do not moan you before 
me here,' looking at the sailors ; ' you have sins enough of your own 
to account for, but I mean now to touch starboard and larboard there ! ' 
streteliing out both hands, with the forefinger extended, and looking at 
those on each side till they quailed. The sailors knew that in* him they 
had an unfailing friend. They flocked to him from every side, and 
when they went up"on on distant voyages they ca:-ried with them the 
influences here gathered. It is doubtful if there is a port on the globe 
where some result from his labors has not been carried. 

" Tiiirty years ago, when Richard II. Dana, jun., went his "tv?o years 
be'fore the mast" -round Cape Horn to the then almost unknown west- 
ern coast of this continent, along the Pacific shore, ho says, 'Arriving 
at San Diego, one of their first inquiries was for Father Taylor, the sea- 
men's prrachcr iu Boston,' 



414 FATHER TAYLOK. 

" So deep and so wide, so abiding and so universal, was the influeuc* 
of this devoted and gifted Christian. 

" His labors on earth are over. Thousands among the living can 
testify to his fidelity. Thousands who were tried and tempted speak 
with ceaseless gratitude of rich consolations by him imparted, of timely 
rescue and guidance, wliile thousands who have gone boar witness in 
heaven to the efficacy of his ministrations. 

" The vessel that ploughed the sea so bravely through many years 
has at length come to her desired haven. Landed in safety, he now 
walks through the city of the Great King. How joyful must have been 
Iiis meeting with the companion who shared with him the joys and sor- 
r():v6 of his laborious years ! What greetings there must have been 
from the many who had entered the kingdom through the gospel mes- 
sage ho had imparted ! In the presence of angels and archangels, of 
apostles and prophets, his voice now joins in' the triumphant ' song of 
the redeemed." , 

Rev. Mark Trafton spoke feelingly : — 

" There are no mourners here : tears there are, but tears of affection 
and gratitude ; there may be regrets, but they ai-e for ourselves. 

" Do we mourn when the ship comes into port, her paint defaced by the 
beatings of a thousand billows, ' sails rent, seams opening wide, and 
compass lost,' if all the crew are safe t 

" Do we mourn when the old hero returns from the war, with the soars 
of a hundred battles, if his honor is untarnished, and his courage un- 
questioned ? Do we mourn when the ripe fruit falls from the tree, as 
when an untimely frost nips the early blossom ? Nay, we give you joy ! 
' My father, my father ! the chariots of Israel and the horsemen 
thereof.' I wonder if he saw them, if the cloud which has so long set- 
tled down upon him was lifted a litt'e in his last moments, so that he 
saw the messengers and. the escort? But the battle is fought, and the 
victory won, and the old hero lies at rest. 

" My acquaintance with Father Taylor has been long and intimate. 
In 1834, I came to Boston on a visit, and having heard so much of the 
famous sailor preacher, went to hear him. How it happened I cannot 
tell, but he took me into the pulpit. He was to preach a memorial 
sermon for one of the patrons of the Port Society ; and his text was, • Vcr 
ily, I say r.nto you, if a man keep my sayings he shall never see Icat^. 



THE BURIAL. 415 

He described the elosing scene in the life of Paul, carried him up into the 
third heavens, and entered him without a sight of death. But, after this 
sublime flight, the next thing was to bring the people down again, 
lie suddenly paused, turned, and bent his full gaze on me to my great 
terror for a moment, it seemed to me an age, then quietly remarked, 
' Brother, may you have Paul's eyes 1 ' and then resumed his discourse, 
it was a gentle letting down from the great height to which he had lifted 
them. 

" Father Taylor seemed to a stranger, at first, distant and repellant ; 
but it was only seeming, — none had a warmer or more sympathetic heart . 
If he appeared to wear upon his brow the motto of the Scotch coat-of- 
arms, ' Touch me not,' it was only on the surface ; within, all was sunlight 
and warmth. In his character there was an element of resistance, a 
pugnacious spirit, which always threw him on the defensive, and gave 
him the appearance of a man-of-war. Indeed, he was not a merchant 
ship, or pleasure yacht, painted in gay colors, and covered with flaunt- 
ing streamers. No man was ever more fitly symbolized by a ship-of-war, 
with a heavy armament, shot in the locker, and full magazine ; but let the 
chase throw out a friendly signal, and instantly the ports were closed, 
the battle signals hauled down, and you were at once taken into liis 
cabin ; and were you ever in a place so warm and cosey 'i His sympathies 
were wonderful. Who that has seen him at a funeral but can attest 
this : he literally wept with those who wept. 

" His emotional nature was very powerful ;, his brain seemed always at 
a white heat ; he constantly carried aU the steam he could bear ; and none 
can tell to what extent, and to what result, these tremendous forces 
would have driven him but for the grace of God, and that firm hand 
that was always upon him, his faithful wife. Mother Taylor, a name 
pronounced by the rough sailor with the greatest veneration, Indeed, 
the twain were one, and he is not to be estimated justly without his 
wife. Eve was not more certainly made for Adam than was Deborah 
Millett for Edward T. Taylor. His deference to her was wonderful as 
his love ; her power over his excitable nature was immense, and much of 
liis success was doubtless due to her wise counsels and faithful instruc- 
tion. 

" His love of Nature was a prominent trait in his character, and animal 
natures seemed to respond to his appeals. His beautiful doves, which 
found a secure home in the tower of his church, recognized in him a friend 
and provider. In the early morning, you might see them alighting on 
the sill )f his window, peeking at the panes with their purple bills, as if 



ilO FATHER TAYLOE. 

saying, ' Father, breakfast ! ' And then to see him standing bare-headed, 
on the sidewalk, ivith a dish of grain in his hand, while a cloud of these 
beautiful creatures came swarming about' him, lighting on his- head, his 
ihoulders, his hands, clamorous for their morning repast ! 

" Father Taylor's sermons were never written or reported, and yet they 
were published as no sermons ever were before. In the forecastle and 
on the deck of every ship that ever came into the port of Boston, his 
sermons, and Mother Taylor's exhortations, have been discussed and 
repeated. In his preparation, ho never wrote a line. He has left not a 
scrap upon paper of all the beautiful things which fell from his lips : 
they are traditional only. But though he did not 'write, he thought out 
his discourses. Having- his theme and text, he, with his cane in hand, 
starts out to walk, up to the Common, down about the wharfs, among 
tlie sailors and the sliips, and, finding his illustrations and arguments, 
lays them away in their appropriate places until wanted. Stepping 
along behind him, you would hear him muttering to Iiimself, arranguig 
liis general plan, to be filled up when the time came for its delivery. 
This was only casting the shell ; the explosive matter not being put in 
until ready for the discharge. But though he did not write, he read 
voraciously, and luxuriated in the rare old works of Jeremy Taylor, 
Howe, Baxter, and South. His study was another ' old curiosity shop,' 
rich in its contents, but chaotic in disorder ; but though the tools were 
in disorder, there were forged terrible bolts. 

" His voyage is ended at last. Bnt why this poor hulk should have 
been doomed to drift about so long after the commander had been relieved, 
the armament removed, and the light in the binnacle extinguished, is a 
sad mystery. It would be almost safe to conclude, that when the orders 
were issued from the department to put this old ship out of commission, 
and break her up, this last clause was lost from the original order, and 
so the hulk drifted around in an aimless and useless manner for long 
weeks and months. ' I am good for nothing,' murmured the old hero, a 
few days before his final release. How I wish that he could have 
aone down after one of his tremendous broadsides, shaking the ship 
from keelson to truck, every spar quivering, and her colors nailed to the 
mast ! or that a spark might have reached the magazine„blowing her 
in a moment to invisible atopis! or that in one of his adventurous 
flights to the upper regions, in full career, ' putting spurs to lightning,' 
in his own startling phrase, he could have slipped in out of sight while 
wii stood gazing after him, like the prophet of old. 

" But it is all right : he drifted out on the first turn of the tide ; thus 



THE BUEIAL. 417 

avoiding rocks and shoals, drifting, on a full tide, to the glorious here- 
after. 

* Calm on the bosom of thy God, 
Dear spirit, rest thee now; 
Fi'en while with us thy footsteps trod, 
His seal was on thy brow. 

Dust to its narrow house beneath ; 

Soul to its home on high : 
He who has seen thy smile in death 

No more may fear to die.' " 

While Mr. Trafton was speaking, an old Irish wo- 
man came in with her basket of oranges on lier arm, 
in her poor, soiled dress, walked up the aisle, leaned 
over the co£Gin, gazed long and tenderly on the dead 
face, and then turned and went out, paying no atten- 
tion to speaker or audience, all of whom were attent 
on her. It was characteristic of him ; and it seemed 
as if he ought to have smiled and nodded responsive 
to the affectionate old orange-seller, as she thus carried 
out to ithe last the freedom that had marked the 
whole history of that house and its service. 

He lay in his white dressing-gown, and on his cheek, 
as his wife had requested. Above him hung an anchor 
of fragrant flowers. The crowd gazed their last on 
his serene features, majestic in their last repose, all 
weariness and decay gone, and only his spiritual 
greatness floating around his countenance. 

A long procession bore his body to Mount Hoj)e 
Cemetery, on the southerly edge of the city, where 
he was laid by the side of his wife on Ocean Avenue, 
in a large enclosure belonging to the Port Society, 
with grand trees standing about, and a pretty lakelet 
27 



418 FATHEK TAYLOR. 

lyiijg in a hollow among them. He had often said 
that he wished to be buried near or in the ocean. 
This prayer was answered, as the prophecy to Henry 
IV., that he was to die in Jerusalem, the chamber 
f where he met his fate having been called by that 
name. So the ocean he desired to be buried in is 
found in this avenue, whose name bears that pleasant 
memory. 

Two mounds covered with myrtle, with a neat 
headstone at each, and " Father Taylor," " Mother 
Taylor," upon them: these are the " long homes " 
of the faithful and famous man and woman. A gray 
granite monument, with pedestal and obelisk, erected 
by the liberality of the Port Society, stands before 
them, with an anchor and their names upon its oppo- 
site sides. 

Here rest, in joyful hope of a glorious resurrec- 
tion, the bjloved forms of these two laborers in tlie 
Lord. 



XXIII. 

THE EPITAPH. 



ScaltPi- Lilies from Full Hands.— Warm Words the Best Epitath. — Tlia 
Tribute of Rev. Dr. James Freeman Clarke. — His iieneli'. to tlie Unita- 
rians. —Kev. Dr. Bellows. — "Logic on Fire."- A Tropical Soul and 
Faith. — The most Original Preacher. — An Incredible Myth. — Dr. Bartol's 
G-ift. — '' My Pulpit has no Doors." — No American a inore Impressive or 
Unique Reputation. — He stands for the Sea. — Known wliere the United 
States is not. — Possessed with his Intuitions. — A Diamond Burning. — 
The Best Example of Genius. — "Accommodation a Part of Religion." — 
A Gem in every Phrase. — " Walked Large," — Did not like Spiritualism. 
"A Wilderness of Souls." — " I'll pick it up Next Sunday." — His Praise 
a Med.al. — " You can't see him, he is behind hi.s Master." — Courteous to 
Woman. — " I've Lost my Nominative Case, but I'm on my Way to Glory." 

— ■' Laugh till I get Back." — "Go tell your Grandmother that you have 
seen a Ghost.'' — " Original in Every Nerve." — Only Methodist Truth and 
Zeal. — "It would be Too Hot for you to hold." — ' More Fuel for such a 
Fire." — William Broadhead's Word. — "A Heart "ike a Sunflower." — 
" There never was but one E. T. Taylor, and there never sliall be another.'^ 

— Rev. Mr. Dudley. — "Preaching in Glory." — Rev. Dr. Neale. — "A 
Perfect Original, like Melchisedek." — Kev. George S. Noyes. —Devotion 
to the Bible. — Interest in others' Preaching. — "Give it to them.'' — 
" You've got 'em." — Pantomime and Poetry. — Liberal over much. — 
Straightforward and Orthodox to his Sailors. — " Brings up Pearls some- 
times, sometimes Mud." — "I"ll make it up this Afternoon." — Beeohcr, 
Taylor Educated. — A Happy Christian. — '• Not Two Inches off of 
Heaven." — A Laughing Christian. — '• When you die. Angels will Gglit 
for the Honor of carrying you to Heaven on their Shoulders." —Forever 
with the Lord. 

IT was a custom in ancient days, and is yet in 
some countries, to cast flowers on the beloved body 
as it paused on the threshold of the grave. There wera 

419 



420 FATHEa TAYLOR. 

many full hands that hasted to scatter fragrant flow- 
ers on this beloved memory. From their choice 
^vo^ds of friendship and praise we gather this contri- 
bution, — the best epitaph that can be placed on his 
monument. 

" The silent organ loudest chants 
The master's requiem," 

save when the untutored words of loving hearts 
are heard. These are the truest requiem. His 
death brought forth a multitude of such. We have 
scattered along the previous pages some of these 
memorabilia. Others deserve record. ^ The lodges 
to which he belonged certified to his virtues and 
their bereavement. His conference and preachers' 
meeting held special services, and wrought their 
grief into befitting phrase. Pulpits made him the 
subject of eulogy in Boston, Plymouth, New Bed- 
ford, and other cities. Descriptions of his oratory 
and gatherings of his sayings were scattered through 
all the leading journals of all denominations. 

The chief of these were in his own church, and 
from among those who had aided him with their 
means, and with whom he had been so warmly iden- 
tified in many good works, social and philanthropic. 
" The_ Methodist," "The Christian Advocate," " The 
Independent," " Zion's Herald," " The Christian 
liegister," " The Liberal Christian," and contribu- 
tions in " The Boston Transcript," made him the 
subject of extended eulogium, while othei' journals 
liberally (]^uoted his traits and words. 



THE EPITAPH. 421 

Rev. Dr. James Freeman Clarke bore testimony in 
" Tiie Christian Register," to his genius and to his 
influence upon his own denomination. 

" To no one whom I have ever heard speak could that much-abused 
word ' eloquence ' be so well applied. Few of our great speakers are 
el0(|uent. Orators are numerous ; good thinkers are not few ; but a 
truly eloquent man is one of the most uncommon of the creations of 
God. Such a man, however, was Father Taylor in his best days. He 
was filled ' with a surging, subterranean fire,' he was illuminated by 
an inflowint; divine light. His speech was a pure cloth-of-gold. His 
■words came, like airy and nimble servitors, from the ends of the earth. 
E ic!i one was a figure in itself; each made a picture by itself. No one 
could ever remember them or report them, for all the common associa- 
tions of language were absent : he seemed to create a new language 
for himself. Any report would be sure to drop out of each sentence 
some of those original untranslatable phr.ises which no other man had 
ever put together. With this was connected that magnificent picture- 
painting which brought up before us the stormy sea, the ship tossed on 
the great shattered waves, the men fighting like heroes in the darkness 
and tumult with these terrific forces of nature ; for, in all his pictures 
of nature, humanity was also present, with its tenderness and its coiir- 
aie, its sin and shame and glory. He always reminded me of Jeremy 
Taylor, unlike as they were.; for, though destitute of the culture and 
the gorgeous learning of that great master of rhetoric, he could paint 
just such pictures as recur in the sermons of Jeremy Taylor. And, 
had any one been able to report him, we should have had from his 
speeches also a collection of those 

' Jewels, five words long. 
Which on the stretched fore-finger of old Time 
Sparkle forever.' 

" I think that the extreme acuteness and penetration of his intellect 
Bds often veiled by his gorgeous and amazing rhetoric. We did not 
always notice how clear the thought was behind the language. He 
seemed to be wandering on amid a tropical wilderness of flowers, with- 
out rule or art, aim or purpose. But he was steadily pursuing an 
object all the time ; and, when ho had finished, he had directed the minds 



422 FATHER TAYLOE. 

of his audience exactly as he wislied. I often noticed this in our Uni 
tarian conference meetings, to which he constantly came. After others 
had spoken, Father Taylor would rise, and, without seeming to contra- 
dict any speaker, would quietly correct any divergence, supply any 
omissions, and guide the thought in the right direction. He had a 
fondness for Unitarians, of whom he once said, ' You Unitarians are 
un awfully honest people.' But he supplied our conferences with an 
Infusion of hopefulness ; he added to our preaching of the law and 
our stern sense of responsibility the joy of faith in a God of pardon- 
ing and redeeming love. Where our talk about duty, effort, struggle, 
abounded, there his faith in a divine grace did still more abound. 
Without a word of controversy or theology, he inspired the element 
which was most needed. He loved the sailors as a man loves his chil- 
dren or his wife. Once, when I went with him to Hingham, to attend 
some meeting, we were riding together, when he saw two ragged, for- 
lorn-looking old men tottering along. He leaped from the carriage, 
crying out, ' There are two of my boys,' and directly was seen walking 
between them with his arms around their necks. Grand as was the 
wealth of his gorgeous imagination, the treasures of his heart wer6 
greater still." 

Rev. Dr. Bellows, in " The Liberal Christian," 
painted a portrait with more fulness of pencilling. It 
is also noteworthy in his remarks, as in those just 
quoted, that he acknowledges the value of this ser- 
vant of the Lord Jesus Christ to his own people, and 
especially his own preachers, in the fulness of ex- 
perimental love and faith that glowed in his every 
word and tone, and that led all with whom he came 
in contact to glorify the grace of God in him. 

"Thirty years ago, there was no pulpit in Boston around which the 
lovers of genius and eloquence gathered so often, or fi-om such different 
quarters, as that in the Bethel at the remote North End, where Father 
Taylor preached. A square, firm-knit man, below the middle height, 
with sailor written In every look and motion ; his face weather-beaten 
with outward and inward storms ; pale, intense, nervous, with the most 



THE EPITAPH. 423 

extraordinary dramatic play of features ; eyes on fire, often quenched in 
tears ; mouth contending between laughter and sobs ; brow ivrinkled and 
working like a flapping foresail, — he gave forth those wholly excep- 
tional utterances, half prose and half poetry, in which sense and 
rhapsody, piety and mt, imagination and humor, shrewdness and pas- 
sion, were blended in something never heard before and certain never to ' 
be heard again. It is difficult to say how far the charm of his specc' 
was due to his uneducated diction and a method that drew nothing 
from the schools. He broke in upon the prim propriety of an ethical 
era, and a formal stylo of preaching, with a passionate fervor that gave 
wholly new sensations to a generation that had successfully expelled all 
strong emotions from public speech. He roared like a lion, and cooed 
like a dove, and scolded and caressed, and brought forth laughter and 
tears. In truth, he was a dramatic genius, and equally great in the con- 
ception and the personation of his parts. With much original force of 
understanding, increased by contact with the rough world in many 
countries, he possessed an imagination which was almost Shakspearian 
in its vigor and flash. It quickened all the raw material of his mind 
into living things. His ideas came forth with hands and feet, and took 
hold of the earth and the heavens. He had a heart as tender as liis 
mind was strong and his imagination Protean ; and this gave such a 
sympathetic quality to his voice £^nd his whole manner, that, more than 
any speaker of power we ever knew, he was the master of pathos. 
Who can forget how rough' sailors, and beautiful and cultivated Boston 
girls, and men like Webster and Emei-son, and shop-boys and Cam- 
bridge students, and Jenny Lind and Miss Bremer and Harriet Mar- 
tineau, and everybody of taste or curiosity who visifed Boston, were 
seen weeping together vrith Father Taylor, himself almost afloat again 
in his own tears as ho described some tender incident in the forecastle, 
some sailor's death-bed, some recent shipwreck, or sent his life-boat to 
the rescue of some drowning soul ■? 

" The Unitarian denomination owes Edward Taylor a more serious 
debt of gratitude than the romantic love which he had for it, and was 
always so bravo and so full in avowing, has naturally called forth. He 
gave many of its young ministers their first lesson in natural eloquence, 
lii him they felt what Demosthenes meant when he described eloquence 
as logic on fire. Ho made the gospel they had seen handled only with 
gloves quiver with the touch of the naked fingers. He brought hack the 
passions, long banished from the pulpit, and made the truths of th.it 
Oriental religion which the chill of the Western reason commonly 



424 FATHER TAYLOR. 

blights and mutilates, or stai-ves and bites down to the roots, take on 
their native proportions and colors and foliage in the warm climate of 
his tropical soul. How many men in our body gained their first eman- 
cipation from formalism and moralizing in hearing him ! How many 
hearts first felt the power of the gospel as a religion of spiritual passion 
in his presence ! It is a comfort now to think how well the Unitarians 
always loved him; how welcome we made him to our assemblies ; how 
deeply we valued him ; and how mucli he enjoyed our love ! The Bos- 
ton merchants of our faith looked well for forty years after his tempo- 
ral support. Methodiot as he was, nobody ever wished him any thing 
else. It was his chai-m to us that he brought his Methodist fervor and 
phraseology with him, and gave us a complete change of spiritual diet. 
But he was too large a Christian to be pent up in any denomination. 
He belonged to the Church universal by right of his apostolic simpli- 
city, his utter devotion to human souls, his courageous plainness of deal- 
ing, his broad sympathies with goodness and with all truth, labelled 
or not, his hospitable nature and princely breadth of being ! One 
touch of Nature makes the whole world kin, and one touch of grace the 
whole Church one. And he had a thousand touches of nature and 
grace joined on somewhere to every thing and everybody. "Wo hon- 
ored and loved him, and it is a great pleasure to fling these few leaves 
upon his fresh grave. Unique, a man of genius, a great nature, a 
whole soul, wonderful in conversation, tremendous in off-hand speeches, 
greatest of all in the pulpit, he was, perhaps, the most original preacher, 
and one of the most effective pulpit and platform orators, America has 
produced. And, alas ! nothing remains of him but his memory and 
his influence. He will be an incredible myth in another generation. 
Let those of us who knew hinj well keep his true image before us as 
lonir as we can. " 



We would fain believe he is not to so utterly and 
&peedily evanish. His own words may save him from 
such a fate, though no record can re-animate that 
pulpit presence and platform power. 

Chief, however, of the contributions from this source 
were the words of Rev. Dr. Bartol. More than any 
other of his school he had been in intimate relations 



THE EPITAPH. 425 

with his friend and "father." They had often eaten 
and drank, talked and travelled together. He had 
watched his genius in their conversational hours, 
had seen it glow with a brightness far above the 
brightest brightness of the sun at noon, had absorbed 
into his own spirit this rare affluence of a rare nature, 
and, out of the abundance of the heart, brought forth 
liis inscription for his monument. His sermon had as 
its motto, 2 Kings ii. 12, " My father I my father ! " 
The following are its chief passages : — 

"In the year 1833, with a fellow-student from the Divinity Schooliu 
Cambridge, I walked t» Boston to attend the dedication of the Sea- 
men's Bethel. The instant the minister appeared in the pulpit, I felt 
he was such a man as I had never seen before. His omnipresent 
glance, taking In the whole assembly; his swift step, glowing look, 
voice strong and mellow as thunder or a breaking wave ; his gesture 
lively and expressive as the elder Booth's, as he beckoned up into the 
open desk — saying, ' My pulpit has no doors ' — such as could not find 
seats below, told me very plainly that no pompous ecclesiastic, droning 
parson, or straitlaced bigot was to discourse that day, and be primate 
and bishop of that establishnent. 

" Last Wednesday morning, at the age of seventy-seven, that human 
Ibnn, so long aflame with zeal at its busy, restless task, fell quietly into that 
sleep to which the sweetest slumber wo know before is but uneasiness. 

" Knowing and loving Father Taylor as I did, perhaps as well as any 
onu did outside his immediate circle, my duty is my desire to speak of 
liiin. Yet I hardly dare, scarce have right, feel 'tis vain to try, that 
praise is disrespect : yet I must ; for to few am I so in debt. 

" No American citizen — Webster, Clay, Everett, Jjincoln, Choate — 
has a reputation more impressive and unique. In the hall of memory 
Ms spiritual statue will have forever its own niche. What is his peculiar 
place ? He belonged to no class. In any dogma he ^vas neither leader 
nor led. He is the sailor's representative. Those were landsmen. He 
stands for the sea, the greatest delegate the ocean has sent upon the stage 
of any purely intellectual calling, at least in this part of the world ; and 
Ws fame has been borne into thousands of ships, by almost millions of 



126 FATHER TAYLOR. 

mariners who have christened him Father, into eyery port and commer 
cial city of the glol>e. The sailor says he has been in places where 
the United States had not been heard of, bat not where Father Tay- 
lor liad not ; while the universal eagerness of all other classes to hcai 
him has been scarce less than of the navigators, who make so great a 
division of our fellow-men. 

"How account for this phenomenon ? We had here a case of that au- 
thentic genius, whose office and warrant is to speak intelligibly to people 
of every sort, span every social gulf that yawns, and hring all that op- 
pose or differ to be of one mind. I must risk the charge or suspicion 
of extravagance, and call him the only man of my acquaintance to whom 
the term genius absolutely belongs. I recognize in others perceptions 
as keen and clear, a glance deeper and stronger in some directions, a 
judgment more harmonious and broad. Some have held the telescope 
spiritual things are seen through with a steadier hand, have analyzed 
more closely, like the matter of the sun, the substances their mental 
spectroscope surveyed, and weighed more coolly and. justly the relative 
value of diverse principles and thoughts. In many, imagination, that 
eye of the soul, has been as wide open ; comparison to detect material 
and moral correspondences as thorough and exact ; and combination of 
old elements into new ideas, or maxims to start from, even more master- 
ly and pure, — he not being a philosopher- of the patient and reflective 
school, to discover new planets in the inner firmament. But I have 
never in my life known one who was with his intuitions so possessed and 
carried away. It was mere insight with him; his vision was passion 
too. Like an engine, it made a train of his faculties, and swept his 
whole being on. 

" ' When he enters company,' it was said of one, ' he leaves the scholar 
behind : I see in his study he is a dififerent man.' Mr. Taylor never 
left himself behind anywhere, but was himself everywhere. Like the crea- 
ture Wordsworth describes, ' that moveth altogether if it move at all,' 
his casual talk was as good as his public performance. He put on no 
robe ; he sang without any singing-garlands. Meet him at the comer 
of the street, he was just as eloquent and just the same as addressing a 
throng. He was natural ; for Nature was too mighty in him that he should 
be aught but that. He carried his sublimity into his trivial conversation, 
and his homeliest humor into his gravest discourse. Ho would provoke 
irresistible laughter in a congregation, or wet your eyes with the way of 
his private greeting ; put you in church with the little touching sermon 
»f his grace at table, or make an April day of smiles and tears at hia 



THE EPITAPH. 427 

CTenin,^ vestry, or overcome you with his solemnity in your house : so 
that one said he was like a cannon, better on the Common than in a 
parlor. But that was a mistake. In your sitting-room he could ha 
a flute ; no maid more tender and soft. How often I have seen him, in 
the most accidental encounters, melt hard-faced persons with his pathos, 
or surprise the despondent into good cheer with before undreamed- of 
consolations ! 

" He was an improvisator, the finest specimen ever in this community. 
He was an extemporaneous speaker, more condensed, with more fiery 
combustion, and less watery dilution, than any beside I have known in 
that order. I have seen many a human diamond shining ; in him was 
the diamond burning. So I set him down for my best example of genius, 
1) 'cause his genius — as always, I suppose, happens where genius is 
6;ipromo — was his master, used and ordered him round, and did its 
manifest purpose with him as its servant and apprentice for life. 

" The spirit of this prophet was not ' subject to the prophet.' What 
distinguished his communication was, not only its brilliant orginality in 
the idiomatic raciness of the language, or the substance of what he 
would convey, but the mai-vellous suppleness of every fibre and organ 
to his conception, which made his whole body a tongue. . . . 

" An actor he might himself have been, surpassed or equalled by none 
celebrated in his day. He did not believe in preaching from notes ; and 
I have seen him take off a brother-clergyman confined to his notes, look- 
ing from his manuscript to his hearers, gazing one way, gesticulating 
another, his tableau vivant being good as a play, throwing into comic 
convulsions all who witnessed it. If he had read sometimes, he would 
have done better. Once, at my table, he impersonated an Oriental dervish, 
through all his spinning raptures, with an ease and perfection I cannot 
imagine Garrick or Kean could matdh, though we noticed after the in- 
spired exhibition he seemed greatly fatigued. 

" His style and accent, in the most ordinary proceeding, could not bo 
withstood or forgot. ' Move a little,' he said, to some who took too 
much room in the crowded seat ; ' accommodation is a part of religion ; ' 
and, as though his request conferred a privilege or a favor, they moved. 
But this acting was no illusion, or superficial trick, he practised on 
others ; but his essence, perfect nature, and so perfect art. He could not, 
!ike the dramatic teacher Delsarte, have picked out the muscle to express 
neavcn or hell. He knew not how he did it, more than you knew ; 
hut it was done, as Delsarte cannot do it. 

"It was said of a great orator, he used to make a study of hia motions 



1.28 FATHER TAYLOR. 

in a gla^s. But here was a face ignorant of mirrora Some inward 
sculptor had carved its thousand seams and wrinkles, which he could 
use by turns for the mouth for every emotion, to make you merry ; oi-, 
as was said of Mr. Choate, ' cant his countenance so as to fetch tears 
out of yon in two minutes.' What was the secret, but a sympathy raised 
to the highest powei", so as to exceed all we conceive under that name, 
so that he saw out of people, as well as into them 1 He put on their eyes 
for his eye-glasses, looked at the world as they did, and they found and 
felt him in them, at the core and centre. 

" His distinction from other superior men was, there seemed nothing 
calculated or elaborate in his most wonderful display. His was not 
their slowly crystallized thought : it was not a gem or a flower, but a 
meteor and aerolite, a flash and a bolt. I heard Dr. Channing and him 
preach the same day : it was the difference between reflection and 
spontanicty. He preached as the birds sing : he could not help it any 
more. He was an actor who enacted not only law, or truth, but the 
beauty of God. Like the character in ' Midsummer Night's Dream,' it 
mattered not what part he took, he could do all equally well. 

" It was said of Prince Esterhazy, he was so gorgeously dressed he 
could not move but a pearl or a diamond fell. All his words gleamed 
as they dropped. The reason 'i Because a love, like Shakspeare's, 
for all humanity was at the bottom of bis impersonations. His moan- 
tain stood on fire : it was a volcano. A Southern heart married a 
Northern brain at his birth. 

" He entered into every nature he touched. The pigeons swarming 
round him, lighting on his head and hands from the dove-cot in North 
Square, only figured the more numerous human croatm-es that flocked 
to him for nobler food than grain of barley or wheat. Once, walking 
with him in the Public Garden, a little bird flew startled from its bush 
away. He stretched his hand after it, and spoke to it, saying, ' I would 
not squeeze or hurt you; ' and I almost thought the bird would come. 
What was this sympathy, but the root of his liberality 1 He was a 
Methodist, but Methodism was neither his gaol nor goal. He was 
superior to sect, belonged to no party, but, like the Indian on the 
prairo, said lie walked large, — no man ever larger. 

" Ho did not like what is called Spiritualism, perhaps could not do it 
justice, and told me several times with some complacency, as of an ex- 
srciser, 'The spirits never stay after I come; can't get them to do any 
thing ; they are afi-aid, and run away as fast as they can go.' When 
the clergy of the Methodist circuit, in which he formerly had toiled so 



THE EPITAPH. 429 

terribly, were, at a meeting of the Unitarian Association, described as 
paid, though poorly, some two hundred dollars, all they were worth, 
who, that was present, but must remember how his battery blazed! 
' AH they are worth ? I will put the humblest of them foot to foot, 
eye to eye, with any of you,' he cried, 'with a Bible in his hand and a 
wilderness of human souls before him, and see who will beat ! ' . . . 

" There was something so inimitably quaint and grotesque at times in 
his repartees, you might have thought of Punch and Judy, or Harlequin, 
but you did not because of the earnest meaning he always conveyed. 
A young man, rather rationalistic in his views, who preached for him in 
the Bethel, liavins accidentally upset the Bible, and stooping to pick it 
up, ' Never mind,' said Taylor to him, ' I can put it up well and easy 
enough myself next Sunday ! ' In the vestry of this church, at a morn- 
ing prayer-meeting, he, talking as a revivalist, and crying out, ' How 
long shaU we compass this Jericho before the walls fall down ■? ' 1 
answered, ' Conversion cannot be completed on the spot ; let us eat not 
mince-pie of praise, but humble-pie of repentance.' He, being dis- 
pleased with ray contradiction, left in haste, a little hurt, and hot. But 
the next time I overtook him in the street he threw his arms round m<", 
gathered me to his bosom, and gave me the kiss of peace, as whenever 
and wherever we met, in the room or on the sidewalk, he always gave 
ma that of love. Never was such a placable enthusiast, such a charita- 
ble devotee. There was room in his heart for all men, as well as God. 
Hj kept the second commandment, as well as the first. He would 
have. been a fanatic, but that he could not help his love. I think he 
looked on Transcendentalism with a half-serious, half-humorous mis- 
trust, as a curious compound of good and bad, to the last. ' It is like 
a gull,' he said to me, ' long wings, lean body, poor feathers, and mis- 
erable meat.' 

" I can aftbrd to quote the wit with which I do not quite agree. His 
cottiamnatioa was like a sentence of death ; but though his rebuke was 
like a broadside from a frigate, or a lion's roar, deeper good-humor was 
hiu trait ; seldom or never any thing bitter or biting in his speech. He 
was sorry to wound, but had" no choice, could not help sayiiii? what he 
diJ : it came to him, and were sacrilege to reject it or withhold. ' Too 
far Dir,' I heard him bluntly say to a speaker in his conference : ' the 
King's business requires haste.' He named th'j talkers, one, ' Pure 
Hebrew ; ' another, ' North of Europe ; ' a third, ' Salvation set to 
Music' His praise was like a modal, or badge, or the freedom oi tha 
city in a gold box, it had in it such solil value or precious stamp. 



430 FATHER TAYLOR. 

"At my house Dr. Clianniag inquired about a famous Mcthodisi 
preacher then in tovra. 'Oh, I should like to see him!' added Dr. 
Lowe'.l. ' Yoa can't see him/ Taylor immediately answered : ' he is 
behind hiii Master!' Could Shakspeare do better? He would have 
been a sort of spiritual glue, a mere sympathy, but for the military 
hand ready to throw the gantlet : so that we must be thankful for the 
iron resistance in him that prevented mental dissipation, else I know 
not where he would have gone, or what become of him. His exceeding, 
immeasurable tenderness, combined with his parity of heart — the eye in 
him to see God — to make him at once so cordial and courteous to 
wo.Tien. Affection for them was a great deep in him, surging like his 
beloved sea. But never billow lapped the beach more softly than his 
untaught delicacy treated the other sex. He was demonstrative ; but 
his demonstration was a drop to the heaving gulf behind. His man- 
ners wore royal, king that he was. I have seen him touch his heart, 
head, and lips with his hand in such a style it seemed a salutation too 
much for me, but meant for and worthy of the universe. This marvel- 
lous force, like the demon of Socrates, that seized and wrought through 
him, not being always present, but like a detached locomotive, explains 
his occasional failures and flounderings to the disappointment of stran- 
gcra, and friends who hung their head. Once, in his confusion, he said, 
' I have lost my nominative case, but I am on the way to glory.' 

" He was a great obseiTer, a continual muser. When the woman 
fore-ordained from all eternity to be his wife, who also called him not hus 
band only, but father, asked him why he went round, muttering so to 
himself. ' Because,' was his loving retort, ' I always like to talk to a 
sensible man.' 

" His tenets were but shrouds to the ship, that he might better spread 
to the wind of the Spirit every sail. Disappointment, deciding to ap- 
peal to God, is one condition of surpassing mind or character. God, 
like man, taxes us on the amount of our property. Yet he was a 
blessed man ; said he never had an unhappy day ; and found in Boston 
the crown of his joy. How dear to him the ' Port Society ' ! 

" 'Laugh till I get back ! ' I remember as one of his farewells : ' till 
we get back,' we might now say. He hated gloom, and told me of a 
dismal theologian, that he seemed to have killed some one, and wanted 
him to go help bury the body. 

" He had a sentiment for the little fish he caught and threw back into 
the sea, saying, ' There, little one, go tell your grandmother that you 
have seen a ghost 1 ' The chaise he once owned was always full of 



THE EPITAPH. 431 

ragged children ; so that he could not take his own family to ride. 1 
wish ho had owned it always. 

" He was no borrower or quoter, but original in every nerve. In all 
his soaring was common sense, — weight, not of a sparrow, but an eagle. 
Uis fervor had a natural, real tone : all affectation he despised. In 
the noble Methodist, no jot of Methodist cant, but only Methodist truth 
and zeal. Methodist let him be : I claim him only as a universal man. 
The seven-year old girl knew his temper, that knelt and prayed for 
him on his bier, saying to those who would understand her act, ' Ho 
was my friend.' 

" His last audible prayer was, ' Lord, what am I here for ? What am 
I doing here ■? I'm no use to anybody. The love my friends have for 
me will soon be lost. The love I have for my friends will soon be gone. 
Now, Lord, some morning suddenly snatch me to thyself 

" The Lord heard, the Lord did, last Wednesday morning, very early. 
The sailor went out, as a sailor would, with the ebb-tide, just at" its 
turn. It was flood-tide somewhere ! That death was a great birth ! 
Such a soul is to us and itselfj beyond miracle or prophecy, the best 
proof of immortality. A brother once asked him for ti subject. ' It 
would be too hot for you to hold,' he said. 'Tis marvellous such a 
flame burnt so long ; and now the fire has not gone out, but the mortal 
fuel. There must be more fuel — must there not "i — for such a fire." 

Warmer yet, because not written in the public eye, 
is this word from the longest and most intimate of 
his Bethel friends, Mr. William Broadhead : — 

" We walked and rode and fished together, wept and prayed, sang 
and laughed together, and I knew him as few knew, — even his interior 
life; for we were one. He was one of those great natures which are 
seldom found; of a warm, ardent temperament, full of sympathy and 
love, strong in his attachments, quick and impulsive, full of mirthful ness; 
wit, and humor; his heart, as he used to say about some of the good 
men of Boston, ' was open.like a sunflower ' He drew all men to him. 
Some of my brightest, happiest, best days were passed in his company. 
I have hoard him preach for years, in the full strength of his manliood 
to crowde-'. houses, with such pathos and power as few men possess. 

" Many an evening I have passed with him in his study reading co 
him till a late hour ; and on one occasion, when he had been exceeaiii;.'[y 



432 FATHER TAYLOR. 

striking in his ways and words, I said, ' You are a strange mortal.' — 
' Well,' said he, ' I have made up my mind, there never was but one 
E. T. Taylor, and, so far as I hare any thing t» do with it, there never 
shall be another.' " 

Rev. Mr. Dudley of Milwaukee sent this goodly 
word : — 

" Milwaukee, April 8, 1871. 

"Mr DEAK Mrs. Brigham, — We have just learned from the papers 
that your grand, venerable father has passed on. The hero of many 
battles, al ways victor ; the weather-beaten god of many storms, never 
stranded ; the anointed king of thousands of loving hearts, — he has 
anchored at last in sunny seas, and wears the crown inside the veil. 
Father Taylor in heaven. 

" We are all voyagers. Sometimes, in the great watches, we can catch 
the undertow of billow and storm, and we think it a good time to 
catch the key-note of the great rhythmic score writ in life and death ; 
sometimes, when the lull comes, we catch a ravishing strain or cadence 
intoned from the music beyond the sea. Then two worlds chord, and all 
things begin to be ours. Mother passed on, father passed on ; altogether 
there, yet more than ever here. Think of your father preaching in 
glory ! Think of the multitudes there, and of the multitudes that will 
roU up to greet and to listen ! " 

Rev. Dr. R. H. JSTeale, his very true friend and 
neighbor, adds his contribution : — 

" I am happy to hear that a memoir is to be published of the excel- 
lent Father Taylor. I have known the good man for many years, and 
only to respect and love him. His character, like his physical features, 
was uncommonly marked and obvious. Whoever had seen him once 
would know him ever afterwards ; his look, his walk, his laugh, every 
thing about him, was peculiar. His preaching, and even his religion, 
we]-e emphatically his own . Ho was indeed a noble man, and a priest of 
I he Most High God, but a perfect original, like Molchisedck, without 
father and without mother, without beginning of years or end of days ; 
and then he was so gonial, that, however open to censure, it was impossi- 
ble not to like him. His pulpit oratory conformed to no rales, and his 
theology, I should judge, to no creed. Yet he preached, as we all know 



THE EPITAPH. 433 

with unsurpassed impressiveness ; and those who have known him longest 
and most intimately will, I am sui'O, bear unhesitating testimony to 
his Chricitian spirit. He was full of youthful enthusiasm, and a remark- 
ably |;-ood hearer. It was good to see his kindly smile and approving 
nod when listening to the efforts of others. A good sentiment he en- 
joyed with a keen relish by whomsoever expressed. I have often notiecd 
him in the public assembly, bowing and smiling, and saying, ' That's so,' 
in such a way as greatly to encourage and inspire the speaker. I do 
not believe he ever tried to be odd, for he was always honest and per- 
fectly natural ; but be could not help being eccentric. I once heard him 
preach on the world, the flesh, and the Devil. His plan was what minis- 
ters call textual. After dwelling at length and with much earnestness on 
the first two divisions of his subject, ho continued by saying, ' Having 
touched sufSciently, brethren, on the world and the flesh, I now pass on 
to the Devil.' 

" Many laughable anecdotes are told of him, some true, and some prob- 
ably fictitious ; but, having been near him in the ministry so many years, 
my memories of him have reference to his personal friendship and char- 
acter. He met me vrith kindness in my youth, and was affectionate and 
confiding to the last. He never spoke or seemed to care about denomi- 
national differences ; but his heart was always full and overflowing with 
love to God, and love to man, like the Saviour he adored." 

Rev. Mr. Noyes, his successor, and a son whom he 
truly loved in the gospel, pronounced a eulogy on 
him the Sunday after, his burial, in which he glanced 
at his character and career. He then properly de- 
picted his debt to grace, devotion to the Bible and 
the Church, detestation of the Devil, and other notice- 
able traits. 

"Nature did much for him, but grace more. It brought him out. 
and made him shine with a lustre which no mere earthly brightnesj 
could rival. 

"It gave him home, friends, position, power, and intimate com- 
munion with Him whose mighty arm was his reliance, and whose inspira- 
tion carried him out of and beyond himself; revealing to him things 
nnutterable to ordinary mortals. 
28 



434 FATHEE, TAYLOR. 

" Next to his conversion, his veneration for the Bible largely con- 
tributed to his greatness. Father Taylor was anchored to the Bible ; 
and his anchor never dragged. 

" You have lieard him, in strains impassioned, graphically portray its 
excellencies; you have seen him press it to his bosom with affection 
glowing in every lineament of his speaking countenance; you have 
heard him, with biting sarcasm, satirize, as only Father Taylor could 
do, the paltry efforts of its defamers to destroy its power. 

"He prized the Bible; he loved it; he venerated it. To him it was 
indeed a book most sacred. As to creeds, and forms of faith, though, 
in the fundamentals, true to his church, yet he was not at all rigid, 
and sometimes even questioned as to their force and foundation. 

" But the Bible, the old chart, and its claim upon us as to faith and 
conduct as a divinely-given revelation of God's will to man, he never 
for a moment questioned. It was to him the voice of God speaking by 
prophets and apostles ; and upon it he built his hopes for time and 
eternity. 

" He loved the gospel when preached in its purity and power. A 
better, more interested, more appreciative, inore flattering listener to 
preacliing, I have never known, nor could I wish. As I have known 
him, it scarcely seems possible that he ever sat as critic upon the gospel. 
He was sometimes severe upon the opinions of men as expressed in the 
pulpit, and was occasionally rather caustic upon the manner of speakers 
in the pulpit; but when the pure, fresh gospel was presented, he fed 
upon it, and was delighted with it. His earnest ' That's it,' ' Now 
you've got them,' ' Give it to them ; ' his rapid changes of expression as 
he followed the discourse, and sympathized therewith ; and his affection- 
ate ' Well done, my child : God bless you ! ' — rendered him a very 
interesting and pleasing companion in the pulpit. Sometimes his ludi- 
crous expressions were rather a severe draft upon self-possession, as vrith 
a single significant remark he would lay out the imaginary antagonists 
of the speaker. 

" His antagonism to the Devil, — for, though he did not believe in 
the Devil, he fully believed about him, — his hatred of sin, his love for 
God's Word, his attachment to Christ and devotion tc his cause, his 
admiration for purity, his marked respect for the true Christian soldier, 
his regard for the Church, and his living faith in the resurrection and 
iinal triumph of the Christian over death, hell, and the grave, werb 
always apparent. 

" The glorious gospel he had so long and so eloquently preached, ha 
loved to hear ; and he received it with gladness of heart. 



THE EPITAPH. 435 

" The great thfime of his meditations and his conversations was sal- 
vation tlirough faith in Christ. Upon this he could be arousi-d when no 
other subject could recall to consciousness ; nor did he ever appear 
weai'ied thei-ewith. 

" His fellowship with Christ and his Church was significantly indi- 
cated by his frequent exclamation of ' The Lord Jesus and the brethren ! 
With them in his days of activity, he was with them still, and hoped to 
live and reign with them forever." 

Well did he conclude his eulogium with a prophecy 
that is history written beforehand. 

" Brethren, he told us often, and with emphasis, that he was not 
going to die. Nor has he died. Driven by a superior force from the 
field where he has waged glorious war with sin and Satan, he has only^ 
. retired to await the final overthrow of the enemy. And when the 
last enemy shall have bit the dust, and the victims of his merciless reign 
shall come forth to life and beauty, we shall again see the loved form of 
Father Taylor, with a glow of holy triumph suffusing his transfigured 
countenance, as with majestic tread, with his loved consort by his side, 
at the head of a little multitude of his redeemed sailor-boys, take posi- 
tion among the glorified, and, with shout and song, enter the gates of 
the celestial city." 

But few words are necessary to complete this 
epitaph. 

A medium form was his ; wiry, supple, slightly 
stooping, increasingly so in later years, with a gait 
half-shambling, half-floating, like a ship in shallow 
water, gliding and scraping along. A cane had been 
in his hand so long, that it had seemed a part of him- 
self ; and glasses stood on or above his eyes for a like 
period, and with a like effect. The face was as full of 
wrinkles as the sea ; so that Tennyson might have 
gathered his simile from this sailor's face, as deacribed 



436 PATHEB TAYLOR. 

to him by some Boston or London admirer, when he 
said of the eagle, — 

" The wrinkled sea beneath him crawls ; " 

save that these wrinkles were full of mirth ; so that 
Homer's epithet was more truly his, — " The laugh- 
ing sea ; " * a youthful sight, the Grecian's blinded 
eyes never forgot. Those eyes planted above that 
wrinkled sea of cheek and chin might not inaptly 
typify the eagle itself ; save that the corrugated fore- 
head surpassed all the rest of the face in the multi- 
tude and vivacity of these waves of the soul. These 
burning orbs 

" Pried through the portage of the head 
Like the brass cannon." 

How they darted their lightnings, playful and harm- 
less, yet seemingly most deadly ! They were like 
Emerson's eyes of Cupid : — 

" Undaunted are their courages, 
Right Cossa.cks in their forages ; 
Fleeter they than any creature ; 
They are his steeds, and not his feature ; 
Inquisitive and fierce and fasting. 
Restless, predatory, hasting. 
And they pounce on other eyes 

As lions on their prey ; 
And round their circles is writ, 

Plainer than the day, 
Underneath, within, above, 
Love, love, love, love I " 

» " OUijaSaKdaarji iyelaaae." ^schylus puts this even more happily ; 
"Kv/iaruv uv^piO/wv yeUc/xa," " the innumerable smiles of the~wavcs." 



THE EPITAPH. 437 

The soul of love leaped from their black abysses, 
never vengeful, often indignant, always affectionate. 

His ■ sermons were not orderly affairs, as some men 
count order. A text is read, and he is off in a twink- 
ling. Like Wordsworth in " Peter Bell," he leaps 
into his balloon, and is up and away above moon and 
stars. The text suggests something, that something 
else, and they something more ; and so, by geometric 
progression, he is instantly in a sea of fancies, a sea of 
glass mingled with fire, of crystal thoughts, and burn- 
ing passion. Tears flow, and smiles. The audience 
responds in tears and laughter. Hits at current fol- 
lies, blows at orthodoxy and heterodoxy, strikings 
out from both shoulders at once, passionate entreaty, 
magnificent description. Every sail spread, every inch 
of steam on, he ploughs through the sea, dashing the 
spray over you, and comes at last careering into port, 
gently and sweetly as a June sunset. 

It has been thought that the great defect of his life 
was not to have stenographic reports of his sermons. 
But what reports could give them ? They were not 
connected, dry, homiletical affairs. They were not 
spoken entirely. They were pantomimic. Gough is 
the nearest approach to him in speaking with his 
coat-tails; but Gough is not original in wit and 
thought. He is an actor, not a poet. Father Taylor 
was both. So, with his face and finger and voice and 
posture preaching with especial unction, the fancy 
and humor that streamed from his tongue floated on 
a river of co-ordinate thought which could not be 
translated into types. He never wrote a sermon, not 



438 FATHER TAYLOE. 

a skeleton, hardly a text. It was not easy for liim to 
write. His hand would swell if he put it long to 
paper. He could not bind his free nature to such a 
restraint. 

He was a man of a jovial irascibility. His love 
was of the torrid type ; and, like that, bred storms 
with exceeding suddenness and fury, but also of ex- 
ceeding brevity. He was a laughing Jupiter, hurling 
mocking thunderbolts of wrath and love. 

He was liberal to a fault. His heart overflowed his 
brain, and prevented sometimes just judgments of the 
truth. He was broader than the broadest, without 
metes or bounds. No radical could keep step with 
his stride then. He would shake off all bands of 
opinion, like a horse freed from his harness, and run 
about the field of theology in the wildest spirit of 
dogmatic fun. Every attempt to catch him and har- 
ness him to a creed would only provoke a snort and a 
flourish of heels ; and away he would fly to the re- 
motest corner of the orthodox pasture, nay, far over into 
the herbageless commons of heterodoxy. Coming at 
last to his cooler moods, and getting relieved of these 
superfluous spirits, he would gladly put on the har- 
ness of the Cross, and preach the great central gospel 
truths with such pungency and power as would draw 
all hearers to Christ ; for he was a very successful 
revivalist. His earlier days were full of these rewarda 
and proofs of his ministry. His labors with the 
sailors were always straightforward, orthodox, and 
effectual. The terrors of the law had no more faith- 
ful preacher. The need of repentance, and faith in 



THE EPITAPH. 439 

the Lord Jesus Christ, was pressed upon them with 
every talent at his command.* 

* Both his faith and catholicity were happily shown in an ingenious certiii- 
cate of membership, which was lithographed, and given to the church-mem- 
bers as they sailed. It was made like a compass, circular, with mottoes running 
round, the letters growing finer as the circles grew smaller. In an open cir- 
cular space in the centre stood a cross also made up of mottoes. The sen- 
tences and the central cross were as follows : — 

This certifies, that is a member of the Mariner's Church, in 

Boston, Massachusetts, and is hereby recommended to any branch of the 
Cliristian Church in the four quarters of the globe. 

Edwakd T. Tatloe, Pastor. 

i 
Whosoever doeth the will of my Father who is in heaven, 
The same is my brother and sister and mother j 
For we being many are one bread, and one body, 
For we are all partakers of that one bread. 
One is our Master, even Christ Jesus, 
And all true Christians are our brethren. 
We have no artificial national meridians ; 
We have no sectarian lines of latitude : 
The Saviour is our safe Navigator, 
And our altar a penitent heart. 
Truth is our meridian and equator : 
The Bible is our compass and chart. 
Thou Shalt not take the name of God in yain. 
Kememher the sabbath day to keep it holy. 
Thou Shalt have no other gods before me. 
Thou Shalt not worship images. 
Thou Shalt not commit adultery. 
Thou Shalt not steal. 
Honor thy father and thy mother. 
Thou Shalt not kill. 

Thou Shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, 
And thy neighbor as thyself. 
Thou Shalt not bear false witness. 
Thou Shalt not covet. 
We have all sinned, and 
Come short of the glory of God, 
For by the deeds of the law 
Shall no flesh be justified. 
Having therefore, brethren, boldness 
To enter into the holiest 
By a new and living way. 
Let us draw near with a true heart. 



440 PATHBK TAYLOR. 

He was unequal. All men of genius are, therein 
differing from other men in one particular only : the 
latter never, like the former, soaring, though they 
both may sink to a like depth. " Sometimes," said 
Mrs. Taylor, " when he dives, he brings up pearls, 
sometimes mud." Yet even the mud was pearline. 
There was a gleam in his feeblest words of " the 
light that never was on sea or land." He never sank 
so low, but that he carried his wit with him. The 
smile, the illuminated wrinkles, the contortions of 
expression, mu'thful if wrathful, themselves were 
humorous, while the word fitted itself to this clothing 
of expression, and was translated out of its orderly 
into a more orderly shape for genius and wit to work 
in. Thus when the audience gathered to hear him 
begin to scatter as they saw the grave face of a 

Let us come to the altar, and 
Worship in the beauty of holiness, 
Witli repentance towards God, 
And faith in our Lord Jesus Christ. 

Sailors here by land and sea 

Bend the penitential knee, 

Here in flaines of incense rise 

Prayer and praises to the skies, 

With one accord, 

Tin to the Lord 

3 !S ?3 ® F 353. 

To Him all praise 

Devoutly raise, 

Through the blessed Saviour's name, 

By whom our salvation came, 

HALLELUJAHl Praise be given 

To THE GLORIOUS GOD OP HEAVEN. 

Tlirotigh the lines separating the compass into four quadrants runs this 
senleiice : " Many shall come from the E.[ast], and from the North, and frcm 
the West, and from the South," 



THE EPITAPH. 441 

neighboring preacher in the pulpit, Father Taylor 
holds them by his glittering eye and more glittering 
tongue, as, half rebukingly of both them and the 
minister, he says, " Hold on there ! Listen to the 
good preacher, and I'll make it all up in the after- 
noon." He made it up then, and his hearers rested 
content with his promise already fulfilled. 

These gifts did not always give thought ; and a rat- 
tling of bright jokes is as powerless as the crackling 
of thorns under a pot, unless solid opinion and pur- 
pose go with it. This liberty he did not always have ; 
and therefore under the strain put on a minister, and 
especially a popular minister, to do his best every 
time he speaks, he of course sometimes broke down. 
This variation, or eccentricity, of his orbit was in- 
creased somewhat by his lack of early and systematic 
training. One of his most intimate associates for 
years, residing afterwards in Brooklyn, and attending 
on Henry Ward Beecher's preaching, said, " I hear 
Father Taylor every Sunday, educated." This 
smoothing of rough points and command of cultured 
phrases, the air of the schools, indescribable, but 
ever felt and potent, kept the one genius from as 
evident barrenness in his unfruitful moments as the 
other. 

But the spurts of wit and imagination may for the 
same cause never shoot so high in the trained as in the 
untrained. The very necessity laid upon the latter 
of relying on his own resources gives a power to his 
spring in these exigencies of debate or discourse 
which bettei'-prepared natures do not feel.- We only 



4i2 FATHEE TAYLOR. 

put forth our powers according to the demands of 
the hour. If a penny buys what we want, we do not 
give a guinea. So the demands are greater upon un- 
tutored than developed genius, and its consequent 
outburst grander. 

His life was a steadfast, honest, sturdy work. His 
imagination was a sabre-stroke, his vehement desire 
a cavalry charge, but not for field-days, but for war. 
He never faltered in his aim and effort. The fires 
kindled at the Bromfield-street altar in his youthful 
breast burned unto the end. His first known words 
were in prayer and praise ; his last, in praise and 
prayer. 

Such steadfast aim is a sign of a steadfast nature, 
and proves that all his gifts were only tributaries 
to his real being. The imagination all compact, 
which made Emerson truly say that Daniel Web- 
ster and Father Taylor were the two greatest poets 
in the United States ; an intuition as swift and 
relentless as a star-beam; a flow of affection that 
rose, like the Deluge, fifteen cubits higher than the 
highest peak in the nature he loved, — these were 
but parts of his ways, instruments of his soul, which 
employed them all in her daily, sacred, solid work for 
God. 

In him was Rabbi Ben Ezra's prayer beautifully 
fulfilled, -- 

" But I need now as then 
Thee, God, who mouldest men ; 
And since, not even while the whirl was worst, 



THE EPITAPH. 443 

Did 1 — to the wheel of life, 
With shapes and colors rife, 
Bound dizzily — mistake my end, to slake Thy thirst : 

" So take and use Thy work 1 
Amend what flaws may lurk, 

What strain o' the stuff, what warpings past tlie aim. 
My times be in Thy hand ! 
Perfect the cup as planned I 
Let age approve of youth, and death complete the same." 

Father Taylor was a happy Christian. " I'm not 
two inches off of heaven!" he exclaimed in a burst 
of boyish enthusiasm at an early class-meeting. He 
rarely ever got farther off than that. His moods of 
spirit varied ; his faith was a fixed star. ' He lived in 
joyful hope of a glorious immortality. Of the old 
fashion of his Church, of the oldest fashion of the 
true Church, he exulted in the God and Rock of his 
salvation. David did not even delight more in hal- 
lelujahs, nor Isaiah in hyms of triumph. His " two 
inches off" became an unobservable hair; nay, he 
broke over the line, and revelled often in the upper 
glories. A sour Christian was rebuked by his cheer- 
fulness, a dull one stirred by his enthusiasm, a half- 
one convinced of his lack by his fulness. He was 
what one of our shrewdest humorists calls the highest 
type of a man, — "a laughing Christian." It was 
an easy matter for him to die cheerfully. He had 
lived thus. He went naturally from the pleasant 
company of earth to the pleasanter company of 
heaven ; from the folks here that are angels to " the 
anorels" there who "are folks." 



444 FATHER TAYLOR. 

Many men of power will arise to bless the Church , 
but no one will soon appear of rarer genius than this 
polished gentleman, this warm-hearted brother, this 
brilliant wit, this most sympathizing nature. How 
often were his arms thrown about those he loved ! 
How often did his kiss seal his embrace ! Rarely 
before, in a large congregation, was the kiss printed by 
men and women, not relatives, upon the marble dead. 
Yet it seemed most natural and even necessary 
there. All were his kindred. He was father to the 
multitude. They could not let him go without his 
blessing. Everybody that knew him said, " My 
father!" 

He once, in his high fancy, gave this grand compli- 
ment to Channing, " When you die, angels will fight 
for the honor of carrying you to heaven on their 
shoulders." So may it be said of him ! What must 
have been the pleasurable strife among his old tried 
associates for that holy honor ! If his funeral was a 
festival, what must his heavenly admittance have been ! 
Those whom he had loved and served so many years ; 
those over whose couches he had wept, and over 
whose coffins rejoiced in tears ; his sailors, rescued to 
God- by this sldlful fisher of men, who had gone up 
from wind and storm, in harbor and on the deep ; his 
fathers and brothers in the ministry and membership, 
wilh whom he had toiled and triumphed in so many 
'fields of earlier and later conflict for Christ; Hed- 
ding, his own spiritual father, who had begotten him 
ia the gospel; Pickering, his wise helper; Bin- 
ney, his liberal patron ; a multitude of smiling faces 



THE EPITAPU, 446 

and yliouting lips, that filled the upper heavens with 
hallelujahs over his ultimate and eternal re-union ; 
philantliropists, who had seen Christ in the forecastle, 
and had sacrificed rest and luxury joyfully for His 
deliverance ; his babes, and his companion, smiling, 
calm, and tender, her deep eyes fixed on his in perfect 
oneness of soul with soul, — all these fancied but 
more than probable salutations, lost in the sight of the 
Lamb in the midst of the throne, who had redeemed 
him to Himself by His own precious blood, and made 
him a king and priest, on earth and in heaven : that 
sight blots all other radiance, and he sinks adoringly 
at His holy feet. 

We leave him there, out of sight to us, in the sight 
of Christ, his Lord and his God, whose he is, and who 
is his lorever and forever ! 



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